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.

Produced by 

Mikko Alanne

Ari Solomon

Jorja Fox

Executive Producer 

Joaquin Phoenix

Directed by

Casey Suchan

Denis Henry Hennelly

CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR THE ANIMAL PEOPLE

WINNER - BEST OF FESTIVAL

2019 SANTA MONICA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

OFFICIAL SELECTION 

2019 AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL

 

“INCREDIBLE”

Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle

“PROVOCATIVE”

The Boston Globe

“COMPELLING”

The Intercept

“POWERFUL

Sightlines Magazine

“EYE-OPENING... will stick with you long after you've watched.”

Shuffle

“GUT-WRENCHING... GORGEOUS... The triumph of The Animal People is its ability to make audiences feel the seething rage of its central characters… should be required viewing.”

The Model American

THE 20 BEST FILMS OF 2019

Counter Punch