Director: Flavio Marchetti
Documentary | A | 2017
88 min | Dolby 5.1

51st Hof International Film Festival

The documentary relates the contemporary relationship between man and animal. The Vienna Animal Shelter – as the second oldest of its kind in Europe and active for 170 years – is home to 1,000 different animals, from abandoned pets to confiscated exotic animals and wild animals who have been displaced from their natural habitat. All the same, it is a place full of hope and commitment, and provides a platform for numerous interconnected stories.

In close proximity and without commentary, Flavio Marchetti accompanies doctors and caretakers in their daily efforts to help injured or outcast animals, to help find loving homes for them, or to reintegrate them into the wild. There are oppressive and humorous encounters between humans and animals: fact sheets almost like dating profiles about the animals’ characteristics, a caretaker who reads children’s stories to a cockatoo, or the chimpanzee Rosi who timidly sticks her hand through the fence.

On eye level with the camera, one is tempted to recognize human features in the disarming gaze of the animals. “All animals speak to us. The problem is: we don’t understand them,” says a zoologist at the animal shelter.