PODCAST| Bénédicte Prot interviews Katharina Mückstein, director of the film L’Animale.
To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture
The Austrian director Katharina Mückstein tells us more about her second feature film after Talea (2013), featuring the same young actress, Sophie Stockinger, with whom she wanted to work again – and might collaborate with some more in the future. The motivation behind the movie not being the coming-of-age aspect so much as the gender identity theme, as Mückstein explains, she chose to surround the central character of Mati with other characters going through their own (sexual) identity crises. In the same spirit of nuancing instead of assigning roles, the mother-daughter relationship, one of the three defining relationships for Mati in the film, serves to portray the mother not just as a mother, but also to underline that Mati belongs to a younger generation of women who is able to experiment further with their gender identity and go beyond challenging traditional codes to observe (with irony) that new categories are created all the time that they can play with (more than the boys can, the director suggests). Then of course, there is also what is hidden to the others, whether it is because they are not trying to really understand the other individual, or because of that “animale” the title refers to..
L’Animale is a film about the contradictory forces that guide our lives: desire, passion, and reason. Riding on their tuned-up bikes, Mati and her posse of male friends intimidate their neighborhood and harass the girls. In their village, they rule. But when her closest pal Sebastian falls in love with Mati and her enemy Carla unexpectedly turns into a friend, Mati is in danger of losing her standing among her male friends. Meanwhile Mati’s parents have a decision to make: What’s more important, appearances or reality?