Acclaimed filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky turns his eye to the daily life of a pig in cinema’s most affectionate portrait of farm life since Babe.

Gunda is the name of the oversized sow who lives on a Norwegian farm and has just given birth to a litter of piglets. Kossakovsky’s dialogue-free documentary, which journeys between farmyards in Norway, Britain and Spain – but resembling each other thanks to the crisp black and white cinematography of Egil Håskjold Larsen – steers clear of anthropomorphism. Instead, it presents a matter-of-fact account of life on a farm for the animals that populate it.

Considering the globe-trotting scale of his recent Aquarella, Gunda is a far more intimate affair. But it’s no less modest in its aim – to ask us to look anew at a familiar environment. With a supporting cast that includes two cows and a scene-stealing, one-legged chicken, Gunda’s appeal lies in the way it allows us to connect with this world, earning our empathy whilst avoiding the mawkish sentimentality that undermines so many nature documentaries.

Directed by
Runtime 93 Minutes
Release date 2021