The Animal People
Why it’s worth your time:
The documentary to watch as the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine unfolds, The Animal People takes the viewer on a tight 90-minute journey into a fight against an industry that is front and center right now: animal testing labs. It tells the true story of six activists who tried to stop a multinational lab testing corporation that abuses billions of animals worldwide, and ultimately paid a shocking price in their fight.
What to expect:
The ugly side of lab testing is outright evil, and though many of us know that, there are some big surprises in the doc that need to be seen to be believed, and I’m not talking about graphic animal abuse – there is thankfully very little of that in the film. This is not just a David-vs-Goliath fight against corporate and governmental power, it’s a realistic look at the nature of power itself, and how its influenced by law enforcement, corruption, and freedom of speech.
Yet The Animal People is also a profile in courage of the six visionary pre-social-media internet activists, and an inspiring look at what it takes to effect change that is sorely needed, now more than ever, for the beagles, monkeys, cats, rabbits and all kinds of creatures enduring unspeakable and completely unnecessary torture for profit.
A fascinating look into the moving parts of effective activism in the internet age, on behalf of billions of creatures who have no voice and desperately need us not to forget them. If you’re an animal lover who wants to understand and help – and most of us are — this film is a must-see. It’s a clear-eyed view into the harsh realities of animal testing, and spells out the profound integrity of the struggle for justice, which is always messy and violent and often gets rewritten to omit that part. But most importantly, it’s a vision for how things could be, if we keep fighting.
Watch it with:
Anyone who has ever loved an animal and wants to understand more about humans in relation to all kinds of animals.
The Animal People was produced over the course of 20 years, and is executive-produced by Joaquin Phoenix.