Hailed as “pure cinema” by Paul Thomas Anderson and a “visceral meditation on existence” by Joaquin Phoenix (its exec producer), Viktor Kossakovsky’s follow-up to Aquarela is a vivid and hypnotic documentary study of the world of animals.
Set on a farm and shot in natural light, featuring long takes and no score, Gunda invites you to view the lives of a mother sow (the eponymous Gunda), two ingenious cows, and a scene-stealing, one-legged chicken through new eyes. Kossakovsky movingly recalibrates our moral universe, exploring the inherent value of life and the mystery of all animal consciousness, including our own.
While his previous film Aquarela explored the inherent fragility of human life on earth, Gunda reminds us that we share our planet with billions of other animals. This extraordinary film gives us, in Phoenix’s words, “a mesmerising perspective on sentience within animal species, normally – and perhaps purposely – hidden from our view”.