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'Joker' actor Joaquin Phoenix speaks about 'fight against injustice' at 92nd Academy Awards
Los Angeles/IBNS: Actor Joaquin Phoenix, who won his first Academy Awards on Sunday evening, spoke about people's "fight against injustice" in a long speech at the Dolby Theatre here.
Beating Antonio Banderas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce in the best actor category, Phoenix walked up to the stage and spoke at length on a range of issues, including "gender inequality", "racism", "queer rights", "indigenous rights" or "animal rights".
He said, "I've been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively and I think it at times we feel or made to feel that we champion different causes but for me, I see commonality. I think whether we're talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights.. we're talking about the fight against injustice."
The actor said, "We're talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity."
Exposing the ill actions of the human world, the 45-year old American actor said, "We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth, we steal her baby. Even though her cries of anguish are mistakable. And then we take her milk that's intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.
"And I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up but human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious and I think we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement system of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment," he said.
Staying humble even after winning the award for a film which captured how a failed comedian descends into insanity and nihilism leading to a counter-cultural revolution, Phoenix said, "Glad, I'm full of so much gratitude right now and I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love that the love of film and this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life.
I don't know what I'd be without it. But I think the greatest gift that it has given me and many persons in this room is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless."
With a message of an inclusive world, the actor added, "Now, I have been- I have been a scoundrel in my life, I've been selfish, I've been cruel at times, hard to work with and I'm grateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance and I think that's when we're at our best, when we support each other, not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity."
With almost choking towards his lengthy speech, he said, "When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, he said, "Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow."
However in the best picture category, it was nothing but a surprise to see a South Korean film, titled Parasite, winning the Oscars.
Creating history, Parasite became the first non-English film to win the Academy Awards in the particular category.