Documentary looks at the daily life of a pig and its farm animal companions: two cows and a one-legged chicken.
Russian documentarian Viktor Kossakovsky’s latest film is a dialogue free exploration of the lives of a group of farmyard animals, shot across a few farms, but edited in such a way that it appears seamless. The only sounds we hear are those that the animals do, and human presence is kept to a minimum besides one point which serves to truly clarify the point Kossakovsky is trying to make, I believe. It is shot in black and white and on the surface, it’s a simple piece of work that shows the joys of life without hammering home any particular points – the viewer is left to judge.
‘Gunda’ is broadly split into three sections, focusing on different farm animals including a couple of cows, a one-legged chicken and a pig (the ‘Gunda’ of the title), who bookends the film, with the first section taking place shortly after she’s given birth to a lot of incredibly cute little piglets. Nature lovers will find much to love here and for anyone who can take joy from simply watching animals be animals, ‘Gunda’ is a very pleasant 90 minutes, but it would be remiss to not highlight that this isn’t sanitised and there are a couple of tougher moments, which I shan’t spoil the details of in advance.
I thought ‘Gunda’ was a worthwhile watch and it leaves you pondering our relationship to these animals, who mostly exist to provide food to humans in one way or another, and I liked that it did this without preaching or becoming explicitly political. ‘Gunda’ is a well made documentary that brings the audience down to the slow pace of animal life, taking in their world from their own perspectives, and if that sounds up your street, then this documentary is worth your time.
Directed By: Viktor Kossakovsky