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GIFFONI FILM FESTIVAL 2018 - 20.28 july

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2018

Mati and her gang of boys feel like the heroes of their village riding around on their tuned motocross bikes. Mati’s parents – Gabriele, a veterinarian and Paul, a surveyor, are firmly established and only have to finalize the last work on the construction of their new house. But when Mati meets Carla, her world becomes unstable. The encounter with the independent girl shows Mati who she could really be: alive and open, and very different from her competitive, demonstratively cool friends. To complicate things further, Mati‘s best friend Sebastian falls in love with her. In the meantime, the world of her parents also threatens to break apart. Gabriele discovers Paul’s best-kept secret. Will the situation pass, or should she confront him directly? Paul, too, is increasingly under pressure to face his very own truth. All characters face the same question: what counts more, seeming or being?

Original Title L'ANIMALE
Category Official Competition
Section Generator +18
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 96'
Production Year 2018
Nationality Austria
Directed by Katharina Mueckstein
Screenplay Katharina Mueckstein
Director of photography Michael Schindegger
Editor Natalie Schwager
Production Design Katharina Haring
Costume Design Monika Buttinger
Music B. Fleischmann
Main cast Sophie Stockinger
Kathrin Resetarits
Dominik Warta
Julia Franz Richter
Jack Hofer
Stefan Pohl
Dominic Marcus Singer
Produced by Michael Kitzberger, Wolfgang Widerhofer, Flavio Marchetti, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Markus Glaser, Michael Schindegger, Natalie Schwager, Katharina Mueckstein

 regista Katharina MuecksteinKATHARINA MUECKSTEIN
Katharina Mueckstein was born in Vienna, 1982. She studied Philosophy and Gender Studies. From 2004 to 2010 she studied directing at the Film Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. In 2010 she founded - together with Flavio Marchetti, Michael Schindegger and Natalie Schwager - the production company La Banda film. Since 2011 she is a board member of the club “FC Gloria - Women Networking Film” to promote female filmmakers in Austria. Her first film as director and screenwriter, TALEA, was awarded in 2013 at the Film Festival Max Ophüls Prize. L’ANIMALE, her second film, was screened in Berlinale 2018 in the section Panorama.

Director’s statement
While I was working on the script to L’ANIMALE I was preoccupied with one of the big contradictions of our times: we idealize individualism but at the same time subject ourselves to strong external constraints, often without even noticing. Not so long ago, it was absolutely clear what we should rebel against – conventions, injustice, subjugation. Today, it is more complex and more difficult to grasp what makes us unfree. The characters in L’ANIMALE are objectively free to do what they want. But internally, they fight against a feeling of not being free to choose and a longing for change and truthfulness. As an author, the question of how to be human interests me wherever wanting something and being expected to do something collide, and where characters waver between anxiety and courage. The evolution of conventions, opinions and structures of social living is first and foremost based on emotions. In my films, I try to make visible this interaction between the personal and the political. During my work on L’ANIMALE, I often thought of costume dramas and of the tragical figures in 19th century love stories that narrate the impossibility of being in a world ruled by strict conventions. L‘ANIMALE is my personal answer to the question of how free we, as modern people, really are. I see ourselves – and hence also the characters in my story – as living in constant and conflicting doubt. We know what is expected of us, what is supposedly good and right for us. We are nothing if not adaptable to circumstance. We want to please and be respected. We are sensitive and are often afraid. We have learned well to control our inner lives, our desires and emotions, and to be rational. If need be, we are willing to suppress parts of our inner lives to please the outside world. […] In his song L’ANIMALE, Franco Battiato sings plaintively about the animal within himself. The animal stands for that which we carry inside ourselves, which steers us whether we want to or not. Battiato’s voice could be the voice of any of the characters in the film. They all feel the chasm between reason and inner desire. In contrast to human beings, an animal does not have a repertoire to hide its emotions, it doesn’t reflect upon questions of reason, and hence it only knows its own authentic being. The utopia of L‘ANIMALE is a human fighting to find a fitting place for his/ her innermost essence in the external world. Someone who can combine the three forces of passion, desire and reason in order to become free.


Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion
La Banda Film

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