Newly minted Oscar winner and activist is attached to a new animal rights project.
Fresh off his Oscar win for Joker, actor Joaquin Phoenix is already spending his new clout on a documentary with an animal rights message. Directed by Russian documentary filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky, Gunda is the story of a recent mother pig and her farm animal companions: a one-legged chicken and two cows.
Shot in black-and-white with no score, dialogue or narration, Kossakovsky’s latest project is a surprisingly emotional portrait of the all too familiar animals.
“I wanted to eliminate voiceover, any slaughtering, any blood, because a lot of films are made about this, and people are still not getting it,” said Kossakovsky. “Now we will just look at them and look how they are and maybe people will get it.”
After Phoenix’s acceptance speech about animal rights at the recent Academy Awards, Kossakovsky got in touch with the actor to show him Gunda. Phoenix was so thrilled with the resulting film that he signed on as executive producer days before its premiere at the 70th Berlin Film Festival.
“Gunda is a mesmerising perspective on sentience within animal species, normally – and perhaps purposely – hidden from our view,” Phoenix stated.
Following its release at the Berlinale, Neon has acquired the distribution rights for Gunda.
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