Celebrated Russian director Victor Kossakovsky has been a vegetarian since his early youth. Gunda marks the fulfilment of his long-held wish to make a film about pigs. His clear intention is to engender empathy and respect for animals, without commentary and without resorting to sentimental music. The supporting roles in this black-and-white celebration of animal life are reserved for ecstatic cows and a one-legged chicken.
The film immerses the viewer in daily life on an idyllic farm, where, with great sensitivity, the camera follows the sow Gunda and her brood of newborn piglets at eye-level; the special 360° cameras installed in the pig barn wonderfully capture intimate and natural scenes.
Slowly but surely the piglets grow up. But then, in the last ten minutes, their fairy-tale lives are cruelly disrupted by harsh reality. The engaging scenes in this minimalist and meditative monument to an impressive pig and her piglets amount to a powerful statement that clearly makes its case.