A beautifully shot and unique anti-meat documentary from director Victor Kossakovsky and executive producer Joaquin Phoenix, Gunda follows the daily lives of farm animals. Excluding humans almost entirely from the story, even a narrator and a soundtrack is absent, Gunda silently observes these animals (pigs, chickens, and cows) just going about their day. The intimate cinematography, immersive sound design, and precious moments of animal behaviour, including an adorable scene depicting piglets enjoying the rain, all help to make the audience more empathetic towards these creatures. In that, it succeeds more than most documentaries that have tried to garner sympathy for animals most people view as nothing but meat.
However the final act is a massive gut-punch, even if you guess where the film is headed (these animals are bred for food after all) and the final shot is utterly heartbreaking.
Gunda is a visually gorgeous and empathetic film and one of the best pro-vegan films. It recently screened as part of the Adelaide Film Festival.
Reviewed by Jordan Ellis