Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things)

dir. Aistė Žegulytė / Lithuania / 2018 / 69 min. / Warsaw premiere

Section: Special Screenings


Director: Aistė Žegulytė

Screenplay: Titas Laucius, Aistė Žegulytė

Cinematography: Vytautas Katkus

Editing: Aistė Žegulytė, Mikas Žukauska

Music: Gediminas Jakubka, Mindaugas Urbaitis

Producers: Giedrė Burokaitė

Production: Meno Avilys

World sales: Meno Avilys

Language: Lithuanian


Special screening of the film and the following Q&A with the director will take place on March 13, at 6 p.m. in Muzeum na Pańskiej (ul. Pańska 3). Free entry


“Can you breathe life into something that has already passed?” asks a director Aistė Žegulytė in a film where the main roles are played by stuffed animals. A taxidermist, a deer farmer and an employee of a zoological museum work on the verge of life and death, where the line between what is real and what is artificial has become almost imperceptible. Taxidermy, as a craft, is a starting point for asking questions about designing nature by a human being and the possibility of endless improving, modifying and reorganising the world. “Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things)” is reminiscent of Olga Tokarczuk’s novel “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” - human as the master of the universe kills and brings back to life; animals, dead and alive, are treated as objects-to-be-owned, competing for being recognised by the viewers as closest to the ideal. Stuffed animals’ glass eyes are staring uncomprehendingly from the screen when hunters hunt real deer and artificial alligators, and taxidermists try to surpass nature, searching for the ideal of naturalness in their exhibits. (Bogna Stefańska) 




DOK Leipzig, CPH:DOX, Hot Docs Toronto, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Vilnius Film Festival (Cineuropa Award), Beldocs, Docaviv, Brussels International Film Festival (Grand Prix), New Horizons International Film Festival, Iceland Documentary Film Festival, Riga International Film Festival (Special Mention), CineEast − Central and Eastern European Film Festival, RIDM - Montreal International Documentary Festival, Premiers Plans Festival D’Angers, Black Nights Film Festival


Aiste Zegulyte_photo_small.jpg

Aistė Žegulytė was born in 1986 in Panevėžys, Lithuania, where she attended high school and Fine Arts School. From 2006 - 2009 she studied Photographic Technology at the Vilnius University of Applied Engineering Sciences, after which she started Television and Cinema Directing at the Lithuanian Music and Theater Academy, where she graduated in 2013. Her graduation project was the documentary film "Identities". She has made several fictional and documentary short films, “Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things) is her first feature-length documentary.