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Review: ‘Eating Happiness’ a disturbing treatise against eating dog meat

A manifesto and propaganda for the nascent World Dog Alliance in Hong Kong, the advocacy documentary “Eating Happiness” boasts a polemic against the consumption of dog meat in mainland China, South Korea and Vietnam.

It’s tough to stomach in more ways than one. Abuses by poachers — as well as canine carcasses piling up at the abattoir and inside food-stand vitrines — disturb and devastate à la Animal Planet’s “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.” A capricious, counterintuitive narrative also renders the film nearly unwatchable.

It’s a shame because it not only spotlights passionate Chinese animal-rights advocates who exhaust their savings to spare dogs from the chopping block but also attempts to comprehend the rationale behind the practice.

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The film is the pet project of multimillionaire Genlin, also known as Hiroshi Horiike, who’s been in the news the last few years for a legal dispute with Hollywood real estate agent Chris Cortazzo over the square footage of his $12.25-million mansion in Malibu. He’s often seen here dressed like a Warholian dictator with the costume-change frequency of André Leon Talley, pensively surveying the landscape.

His broken-English narration sounds like a self-serious essay written by an ineloquent grade schooler that few can take seriously. By aiming at a Western audience, he’s barking up the wrong tree. Then again, the “Sample for Oscars” watermark appearing throughout the review copy makes clear his ulterior motive and delusions of grandeur.

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“Eating Happiness.”

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MPAA rating: R for some disturbing images of animal cruelty.

Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Playing: At Laemmle Playhouse 7, Pasadena.

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