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Countless movies offer invaluable portraits of wildlife, and beloved pets have been at the centre of some of our favourite films - Lassie, Marley And Me, Black Beauty over the years. But few movies commune with the class of animals that are generally regarded as resources rather than sentient beings. When it comes to attitudes toward creatures who are raised for meat and, in euphemistic foodie-speak, "harvested," there's a whole lotta compartmentalising going on. It's no wonder it took Victor Kossakovsky twenty five years to secure funding for a documentary that would put farm animals front and centre without explanatory overlay.

Where his prior film, the acclaimed epic Aquarela, was a reminder of the fragility of human tenure on earth, in Gunda, master filmmaker Viktor Kossakovsky reminds us that we share our planet with billions of other animals. Through encounters with a mother sow (the eponymous Gunda), two ingenious cows, and a scene-stealing, one-legged chicken, Kossakovsky movingly recalibrates our moral universe, reminding us of the inherent value of life and the mystery of all animal consciousness, including our own. Gunda was produced by Joaquin Phoenix.

Nominated for a Golden Globe.

Gunda is an extraordinarily impactful, loving, and urgent film and the more people stumble upon it, because they are lured by a magnificent pig with the cutest piglets, shot in poised black and white, the better off they will be… It is no coincidence that Kossakovsky chose these specific farm animals as protagonists for his film. In a beautiful and little known tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, called The House in the Forest a “pretty hen, pretty rooster, and pretty spotted cow” are catalyst characters, showing what the humans are made of by how they treat them. And this is the point. When Gunda looks out at her children playing in the yard and you are reminded of your own grandmother, this does not mean you anthropomorphise anything, you simply see the fact of our similarity.” - Anna-Katrin Titze, Eye For Film

  • Year
  • Runtime
    93 minutes
  • Country
    Norway, United States
  • Rating
  • Director
    Victor Kossakovsky
  • Cast