movie recs

A Reminder That Things Could Always Get Weirder

“Everybody watch the 2005 film ‘Earthlings.’” Photo: TONI ANNE BARSON/WireImage

No matter what new Weird today brings, tomorrow, there will be more Weird — weirder Weird, even. Maybe TikTok witches will try to hex the moon, or you will be accosted by an uncomfortably sultry fish. Or maybe, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky will release a special video formally endorsing a 15-year-old Joaquin Phoenix movie in exchange for the release of some hostages, as happened on Tuesday.

CNN reports that, late Tuesday night, Zelensky posted a video to his official Facebook page advising that “everybody watch the 2005 film Earthlings.” In case you missed it, the Phoenix-narrated documentary explores animal abuse in industrial agriculture and research, and Zelensky’s belated recommendation should be taken with a few grains of salt: He did not make it willingly but at the bidding of one Maksym “the Bad” Kryvosh, a self-proclaimed “legal terrorist” who’d seized control of a Lutsk bus earlier that day.

Kryvosh also shared an “anti-system” manifesto and a list of demands to Twitter, one of which apparently involved Zelensky publicly co-signing Earthlings. According to the New York Times, Kryvosh — armed with guns and explosives — also made the 13 passengers watch the movie during the approximately 12 hours they spent on the bus. None of the hostages were harmed, although Kryvosh appears to have fired at authorities from inside the vehicle. In any case, Zelensky posted his tepid rec, Kryvosh surrendered, and Zelensky deleted the video. Perhaps not the ringing endorsement Kryvosh was looking for but a necessary reminder that there is always room for more Weird.

A Reminder That Things Could Always Get Weirder