DVD - The Tiger Next Door
Dennis Hill is the sort of neighbor that might make some folks nervous -- he's a former methamphetamine addict with a long criminal record who runs with a biker gang and looks the part. But none of this bothers the folks living in Hill's Flat Rock, Indiana neighborhood nearly as much as his pets. Along with a handful of black bears and cougars, Hill keeps twenty-four tigers in his backyard -- he's obtained a breeder's license and sells baby tigers (which can fetch over $100,000 each) in order to support the upkeep of his other animals. Hill clearly loves his animals and cares for them, but he keeps his tigers in makeshift cages located in a residential district, and a number of the folks living around him worry about what could happen if the animals ever get loose. Eventually, federal authorities canceled Hill's breeding licenses, and when an inspection by the Department of Natural Resources found that his facilities were not up to code, he was given the news that he could only keep three of the tigers. Filmmaker Camilla Calamandrei follows Hill as he fights to keep his animals -- a battle he believes is as much about personal freedom as the tigers he loves -- and the often dangerous world of keeping and breeding wild animals in the documentary The Tiger Next Door, which was an official selection at the 2009 Hot Docs International Film Festival.