A canary, a dog, a cat – even a fish. The young couple employed by the pet crematorium collect them all. She mumbles something about forms that have to be filled in at this difficult time and ashes that will be returned within 24 hours. He wraps the departed pet in a blanket and puts it in the back of the jeep. They hardly speak during the rest of the day. They drive through a post-apocalyptic landscape on the shabby periphery of an industrial city. They make love, swim and are surprised by the large numbers of dead animals strewn along the roadside. When they hit a stray dog, their relationship starts to derail. The universe has lost its harmony.
In KALA AZAR, the camera regularly hangs at dog's eye level, so we see mainly feet and legs. Humans and animals communicate in similar ways: without words, with a growl and a shove. This also applies to the girl's parents, who live with a pack of dogs, and the silent migrant workers in a dusty chicken hatchery. Only the hunters at the neighbouring shooting range are loud and heartless – a different archetype.
KALA AZAR is named after an infectious disease decimating the canine population of Southern Europe. But this enigmatic debut is mainly about the thin line between life and death, the spiritual connection between human and animal and the fragility of love between humans.
- KNF award for best Dutch film - IFF Rotterdam
- Pinelopi Tsilika
- Dimitris Lalos
- Michele Valley
- Tasos Rafailidis
- Janis Rafa
- Thodoros Mihopoulos
- Patrick Minks
- HERETIC OUTREACH
- SNG FILM
Janis Rafa (1984, Greece) has a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Leeds. She uses video to convert her experiences into carefully choreographed scenes. Her work walks a fine line between subjective interpretation and the authentic representation of landscapes and events. Her work has been exhibited at venues and festivals such as the Viennale, Tate Modern and IFFR. In 2013, she created the THREE FAREWELLS trilogy. KALA AZAR (2020) is her debut feature film.