D: Maha Maamoun, Egypt 2016, 25 min, OmE
Animals have always been used in art, and today they can serve as a starting point to investigate an age of biopolitics, global waves of refugees and terror attacks. Dear Animal interweaves two texts: a short story by Haytham El-Wardany about a drug dealer who turns into a strange animal; and a selection of letters written by Azza Shaaban, a director-producer involved with the Egyptian revolution and now living in India, from where she regularly posts notes to her Facebook friends relating stories of travel and healing.
D: Anja Dornieden & Juan David González Monroy, Germany 2020, 76 min, OmE
The aurochs has the distinction of being the first documented case of extinction. The last known wild aurochs died in the Jaktorów Forest in Poland in 1627. Hunting and the domestication led to their decline and disappearance. Traits that were attributed to the animal, such as speed, strength, and courage, imbued it with great symbolic power. Some of their body parts were ascribed with supernatural powers, among them the skin of the forehead and a cross-shaped bone inside the heart. Those who carried them became possessors of the animal’s traits. In the 20th century efforts to bring back the aurochs from extinction began to materialize.