Janis Rafa (SNG Film) 2020
Kala azar describes of a place that cannot sustain animal life any longer, where a young couple take care of dead animals to give meaning to their life.
In the remote and semi-industrial zones, at the margins of a city somewhere in the south of Europe, a young couple makes love in their car, off-road surrounded by stray dogs near a highway. The day starts with their job routine: collecting deceased pets from homes and taking them to a pet crematorium, in order to deliver the ashes to the owners. The couples’ relationship with death and life is gradually revealed. Outside of their job’s constraints, the couple also collects and cremates roadkill and anonymous bodies of animals abandoned in the landscape, found during their drives.
Around the same territory, a middle-aged couple lives in the privacy of their home, surrounded by their dogs. These are the parents of the young woman. During the night the father, named Tassos, discreetly has personal contact with a worker, named Oguz, working in the poultry factory not far from the house. Progressively, we discover that Tassos and Oguz organise a concert by a Philharmonic Orchestra, as a tribute to the doomed creatures, on the night before the clutch of chickens will depart to their final destination.
In this desolate environment, the couples’ stoic perseverance creates a space through which their love grows until the moment they have a car accident; they cause a roadkill themselves. This may be the end of their relationship and their job.
The film ends with the Nimrod from Enigma Variations by E. Elgar performed at the factory. The coming morning, the truck loaded with chickens leaves the factory and heads towards the highway.
Requiem to a fatal incident
Director Janis Rafa
Based on an original idea by Janis Rafa
Cinematographer Thodoros Mihopoulos GSC
Producer Digna Sinke (SNG Film)
Co-Producer Konstantinos Kontovrakis & Giorgos Karnavas (Heretic)
Janis Rafa (1984) lives and works in Amsterdam and Athens. She completed her education in Fine Art (2002-2012) at the University of Leeds with a Doctoral on video art practice and she was a resident at Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia (2017) and at Rijksakademie residency (2013-2014). Her work has been shown at Catherijneconvent (2018); Manifesta 12 (2018); Mardin Biennial 4 (2018); Museum Voorlinden (2017); Galleria delle Carrozze di Palazzo Medici Riccardi (2017); Centre d'art contemporain Chanot (2017); Kunsthalle Munster (2017); Benaki Museum (2017); EYE Film Institute (2016); Kunstfort Vijfhuizen (2016); VISIO European Program on Artists’ Moving Images (2015); 56th Venice Biennial (parallel event, 2015); ART-O-RAMA (2014); State Museum of Contemporary Art (2011); Manifesta 8 (2010) among other venues.
Her films and video works were screened at: Netherlands Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, BFI London, Cinema de la Nouvelle Lune, Curtas Vila do Conde, Gulf Film Festival, Capalbio Cinema, and as part of Rencontres Internationales (2016, 2010).
From October 2018 to February 2019 she will present a solo exhibition at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. Her work is part of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam collection.
Festivals & awards
International Film Festival Rotterdam, Tiger Competition 2020: / New Directors/New Films, New York 2020 / Al Este Peru Film Festival 2020 / Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival Zerkalo, Russia; competition 2020 / Galway International Film Festival, Ireland 2020 / Beach Film Festival, North Macedonia 2020 / New Zealand International Film Festival 2020 / Melbourne International Film Festival 2020 / Hong Kong International Film Festival; Young Talents competition 2020
Feature Expanded Distribution Award Winner 2017 / *best film award KNF (Circle of Dutch Film Journalists) 2020 / *Special Mention Hong Kong IFF 2020
Cinema release the Netherlands: 20-08-2020