Joaquin Phoenix is executive producing ‘Gunda’, a farm animal documentary
The documentary first premiered at the Berlin Film Festival
Joaquin Phoenix has been making headlines lately, not just for his powerful performance as the Joker, but also for his actions in real life. Not only did he deliver some powerful acceptance speeches during film awards season, addressing issues like global warming and animal cruelty, but he actually saved a cow and its calf from a slaughterhouse.
Phoenix’s next respectable deed is somewhat of a mix of his two main passions, films and helping the world – becoming the executive producer of Gunda, a documentary about farm animals’ ability to experience emotions, with a sow as the lead character.
The documentary premiered on February 23 at the Berlin Film Festival and has been received very well, despite struggling to gather financing for years. According to its synopsis, Gunda “recalibrates our moral universe, reminding us of the inherent value of life and the mystery of all animal consciousness, including our own.”
After Phoenix’sOscar acceptance speech, in which his point about our exploitation of dairy cows had some stripped-down, hard-hitting truth to it, people started calling Gunda‘s director Victor Kossakovsky, telling him, “He’s saying what you say every day,” they told him. “You must show this film to him.”
And after co-producer Joslyn Barnes did just that, Phoenix jumped right on board as executive producer.
“Gunda is a mesmerising perspective on sentience within animal species, normally – and perhaps purposely – hidden from our view. Displays of pride and reverence, amusement and bliss at a pig’s inquisitive young; her panic, despair and utter defeat in the face of cruel trickery, are validations of just how similarly all species react and cope with events in our respective lives. Victor Kossakovsky has crafted a visceral meditation on existence that transcends the normal barriers that separate species. It is a film of profound importance and artistry,” the actor said in a statement.