Unity (2015)

August 6th, 2015
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Shaun Monson | Documentary | USA 2015 | 99 min.

After Earthlings, in which he tackled the exploitation of animals in the food, fashion and entertainment industries, it took writer/director Shaun Monson over seven years to compile this well-intentioned yet woozy and unfocused documentary: UNITY is a sort of catalogue of all human sins committed over the ages, the victims being animals, the environment and other human beings.

Narrated by nearly a hundred (mostly Hollywood) stars such as Joaquin Phoenix, Jennifer Anniston, Jessica Chastain, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Kingsley and Jeff Goldblum, UNITY is a ‘call to arms’ for the human race to join a bid for world peace, veganism, love and spiritual awakening, “since we are all part of the universe”.

Thus Monson states in his own words: “The title Unity signifies the intention of the content. It’s not so much to entertain, like a past-time, but rather turn something ‘on’ inside you that has been suppressed or forgotten by the mask that society or tradition puts upon us. But more than that the film also helps relate us to the mystery of existence, to all of existence, which we are merely a part”.

Expect lots of cruelty towards humans and animals, opening with a devastating scene of a bull attempting to escape ‘death row’ in the abattoir and followed by some rather fluffy images of togetherness. The participation of so many stars who openly participate in today’s crass materialism – one of the cardinal sins of humankind mentioned by Monson – somehow undermines this worthy but rambling and unstructured lesson, delivered in its earnest, preachy tone.


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