STILL LIFE

France, 2016 (MIFF 2017, Documentaries,Animals)

Director: Maud Alpi

STILL LIFE

Director Maud Alpi won Best First Film at Locarno and France's Lumières Awards for this mesmerising docu-fiction hybrid that tours an animal slaughterhouse through the perspective of a dog.

Making her feature debut, French filmmaker Maud Alpi takes her audience on an impressionistic, sometimes disturbing, and always compassionate journey into the labyrinthine workings of an animal abattoir, where a young worker is tasked with ushering countless livestock to their doom.

What makes Alpi's documentary so unique is that the young man is accompanied by his faithful dog, Boston, a kind of benevolent Cerberus through whose eyes we witness the unusual camaraderie between the animals. Beautifully lensed and composed by Jonathan Ricquebourg, (who also shot MIFF 2016's The Death of Louis XIV), Alpi's meditative, strangely hypnotic film eschews the obvious animal rights angle for something ultimately more utopian about humanity's relationship to nature.

'Poetic. Alpi's approach is savage and mournful yet bracingly humanistic.' – Frieze

Contains abattoir imagery.


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