More than ten years in the making, the feature documentary THE ANIMAL PEOPLE, from executive producer Joaquin Phoenix, follows the journey of six young activists who find themselves indicted as terrorists by the United States government. The reason: the activists' leadership of a controversial open protest campaign aiming to close down the largest animal testing laboratory in the world. The activists used the then fledgling internet to dramatically magnify their impact and systematically knocked down pillars of financial support for the lab. But when protests began to mushroom into dead-of-night vandalism and worse by unknown underground elements, the FBI stepped in. The Bureau began an unprecedented campaign of surveillance, creating a model that would later be used against Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter. The United States Congress, under corporate pressure, rewrote laws in specific preparation for prosecution.
Featuring expansive interviews with the six activists spanning more than a decade, rare archival footage – including never-before-seen surveillance footage, wiretaps, and government documents, The Animal People is a chilling portrait of what happens when activism rattles the institutions of power.
Denis Henry Hennelly
CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR THE ANIMAL PEOPLE
OFFICIAL SELECTION - WORLD PREMIERE
2019 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL
OFFICIAL SELECTION - CLOSING FILM
2019 SANTA MONICA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle
“POWERFUL… COMPELLING… Highlights a pivotal case.”
“EYE-OPENING… will stick with you long after you've watched.”