A new pro-vegan documentary produced by Joaquin Phoenix investigates how the US government deals with animal rights activists.
The vegan actor is the executive producer of The Animal People, which premiered at Austin Film Festival.
It looks at claims that anti-terror laws have been used by the US government to prevent animal rights activism, and is directed by Denis Henry Hennelly and Casey Suchan.
Phoenix said at the launch that the film is about ‘fundamental questions concerning free speech, social change, and corporate power that have never been more urgently relevant in our world’.
The Animal People looks into the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty group – members of which have been under investigation by police.
The documentary ‘follows the journey of six young Americans who find themselves targeted as terrorists by the US government for their involvement in a controversial protest campaign’, the filmmakers explained.
“Seeing the future of social movement organizing, the activists used the then fledgling internet to dramatically magnify their impact as they systematically knocked out the pillars of financial support that kept the company in business,” the synopsis adds.
“But when letter writing and protests began to mushroom into dead-of-night vandalism and worse by unknown activists, this corporation and the government formed an alliance to destroy the group. The FBI began an unprecedented campaign of surveillance in preparation for prosecution.”
The Animal People producers haven’t given us an exact date yet, but have said it’ll be screening in December. Follow their Facebook page for updates!
Joaquin Phoenix is an outspoken animal rights activist. He’s regularly seen at protests and animal events, and has been filmed giving pigs water and comforting them in their final moments before slaughter.
The Joker actor has been vegan since he was a young child, and in a recent interview in the buildup to the release of Joker, he condemned meat eating, describing farming practices as ‘absurd’ and ‘barbaric’.
“Me and my siblings witnessed fish being killed in a really violent and aggressive way,” he said.
“It was just absolutely obvious that it was something that we didn’t want to participate in and we didn’t want to support. To me, it just seems obvious. I don’t want to cause pain to another living empathetic creature.”
How influential can Joaquin Phoenix be for animal rights? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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