Oscar winner and longtime vegan Joaquin Phoenix is serving as an executive producer on a new documentary about pig sentience.
Called “Gunda,” the documentary—created by award-winning Russian filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky—examines the daily life of a pig and her three farm animal companions: two cows and a one-legged chicken.
The film provides an honest perspective on the relationships between humans and farm animals.
Phoenix was “deeply moved by the film” and inspired by Kossakovsky’s artistry. He told Screen Daily, “‘Gunda’ is a mesmerizing perspective on sentience within animal species, normally—and perhaps purposely—hidden from our view.”
He added, ”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.”
Kossakocsky’s previous work includes the 2018 documentary “Aquarela,” which looked at bodies of water around the world, from frozen lakes to mighty waterfalls.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Animal Advocacy
“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal,” he said.
Following his Academy Award win, Phoenix rescued a cow and her calf from a slaughterhouse in Southern California during a tour arranged by LA Animal Save.
Phoenix is a regular attendee of LA Animal Save’s weekly pig vigils at Farmer John’s slaughterhouse in Vernon, California.
When asked why he continues to attend the vigils, Phoenix told reporter Renee of Jane Unchained News, “I have to. I think that most people don’t really know the torture and murder that is the meat and dairy industry, and I think we have a moral obligation to talk about it and to expose it for what it really is.”
The world premiere for “Gunda” will take place in Berlin on Sunday, February 23.