World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award, Sundance
Heavily pregnant Itto enjoys new affluence following her marriage to Amine, though Amine’s mother does not hide her disdain for her daughter-in-law. Home alone for the day, Itto relaxes in her luxurious, gated Moroccan residence when green lightning suddenly fills the desert skies above, the harbinger of an earth-shattering supernatural event. She sets off to find her husband, and in the midst of abnormal animal behavior and colossal storms, she finds herself on a journey of self-discovery that questions formations of religion, wealth, and gender.
Writer and director Sofia Alaoui tactfully imbues Animalia with eeriness and surreality; with pointedly less grandeur and decisiveness than typical science-fiction, the film reaches towards the realm of the mystical. As Itto moves throughout an alarming physical world, she befriends a dog and a fellow Berber, Fouad, as well as encounters a spiritual and psychological metamorphosis. Alaoui ultimately delivers a powerful contemplation on the irrefutable interconnectedness of humanity through Itto’s personal and physical journey.
Introduction by Samhita Sunya (VAFF).
Sunday, October 29
Violet Crown 1 & 2