Blood stains the throat, the heart stops beating, the insides are revealed through a belly slit wide open. The dead body becomes a product. The director has no desire to shock viewers with scenes of execution inside a slaughterhouse, where the action in this award-winning debut takes place. Although she doesn't look away, she is driven, paradoxically, by tenderness. And she asks a risky question: is empathy even possible in a place that is an instrument of death? Still Life shows the monotonous, even hypnotic rhythm of the operations of a slaughterhouse, the work of people and animals, the executioners and those condemned to death. Cows transported in trucks are crowded into a maze with only one exit. Overseeing their final steps is a young man, who uses drugs to escape from reality. His dog is also there, anxiously running around the corridors, sniffing death. Maud Alpi combines the surrealism of industrial spaces, skillfully captured with the help of shocking scenes, with the focused eye of the documentarian. Her enigmatic and disturbing film is akin to the carnal aesthetics of the French extremists Claire Denis and Bruno Dumont.
Prix Louis Delluc 2016 - Best First Film; Locarno IFF 2016 - Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award
Maud Alpi is a French director who was born in 1980. She studied Philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Her short films have won numerous awards at national festivals. In 2015, she made a medium-length film called Drakkar, in which she explored the problem of the boundaries between humans and animals. She returned to these issues a year later in her full-length debut, Still Life, which made its world premiere at the Locarno International Film Festival. The film won the prestigious Louis Delluca Award.