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Gunda 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Viktor Kosakovskiy
Writers: Viktor Kosakovskiy, Ainara Vera
IN BRIEF: A well-made but slow moving pig’s tale.
JIM’S REVIEW: (RECOMMENDED) A pig and her litter, a one-legged chicken, and some cows are the main cast in this fine documentary, Gunda, Viktor Kosakovskiy’s understated cinematic plea for animal rights.
Gunda is an enormous sow that has just given birth to a dozen small piglets. This is their story of life down on the farm. Call me a city boy, but the film depicts the daily mundane weeks in this pig’s heaven (or hell) and I have chosen the right lifestyle for me. Still, it is a fascinating place to visit.
There are no voiceovers, no sweeping musical score, no Disney sentimentalizing… just straight-forward filming of natural country events. There are many grunts, squeals, and moos to be heard and lots of mud and flies buzzing around too.
This is a well-made documentary that tries to convey an animal’s everyday existence. The wonderful sound design by Alexander Dudarev immerses the moviegoer into this rarely-seen animal kingdom. The masterful b&w photography by Egil Håskjold Larsen and the director is stunning with its low-level point of view and detailed close-ups of farm critters.
However, the story seems non-existent and Mr. Kosakovskiy lets scenes go on for far too long, at a turtle’s pace, although none of those creatures are in sight. The documentary does eventually build to its subtle message about the cruelty of our food chain, but any astute moviegoer knows the fate of our little dirty dozen from the start. (A side note: All of our violent deeds are strongly implied, but mercifully not shown.) I could say there is much food for thought in this documentary, but then I would be called insensitive or callous. Let’s just say, this film deserves your attention. (GRADE: B-)