Animals to love vs. animals to eat
„Domestic”, director Adrian Sitaru’s third feature film (after „Hooked” and „Best Intentions”) has an atypical subject for a Romanian film. It is a film made with humour and sadness, in which pets as characters are at the same level as human characters, having the same importance in the symbolism of the stories. Known actors and actresses, most of them already familiar to Adrian Sitaru’s cinematographic world, give life to this film as well: Adrian Titieni, Ioana Flora, Clara Vodă, Marian Râlea.
Director: Adrian Sitaru
Scriptwriter: Adrian Sitaru
Cast: Adrian Titieni, Gheorghe Ifrim, Clara Vodă, Sergiu Costache, Ioana Flora, Marian Râlea, Natașa Raab
Produced by: Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan, Titus Kreyenberg, Philippe Avril, Christin Geigemüller, Adrian Silisteanu
Cinematography by: Adrian Silișteanu
Film editing by: Andrei Gorgan, Adrian Sitaru
Category: feature film
Duration: 85 minutes
101,407 – Cinepub viewers
It is a story about people and animals and the unconditional bond between them. A rabbit, a chicken, a cat, a dog and a dove go through the main characters’ lives, influencing their evolution. With a wonderful but painfully real imagery, “Domestic” is the story of children, adults and animals who live together hoping for a better life. The film follows the story of three main characters – Mr.Lazăr (Adrian Titieni), Mr.Mihăeş (Gheorghe Ifrim) and Toni (Sergiu Costache) – and their pets, all forced to live together in the same block community. Engaged in a series of funny, absurd, yet realistic events, each of the three main characters completes the other one’s story, influencing it to some extent.
An almost inexistent topic in other Romanian films, including those of the New Wave, the relationship between people and animals problematizes more aspects of the lives of the former than one might think. In the Romanian society, a number of years after the Revolution, the attitude towards animals remains, mostly, connected to consumption. And when it comes to pets, they upturn the life of an entire block of flats (because they bark, leave hair etc.). Those who introduce love and tenderness when it comes to animals are the children, but they also become confused when their silent companions are served food in a plate as everyone else is at the Christmas dinner.
Apart from these facts, the film atmosphere (developed, as in most Romanian films, around festive dinner tables or not), is sprinkled with eclectic theories about Jesus, aliens who inhabit human bodies and then return to the future, and a recurrent dream that torments one of the characters pets are on both sides of life and death, that is what the film seems to say – they smoothen the relationships between adults and children or become compensational symbols of terrible absences, to the extent to which they themselves are accepted and loved or slaughtered.
“Domestic is a bit of a grotesque, a bit absurd, sometimes dramatic and a very true comedy. The camera moves from one flat to another, revealing the characters in their familial intimacy, which, at some point, is externalized, becoming the entire block’s problem.” (Cristina Corciovescu – www.aarc.ro )
I will not kill it; I haven’t killed a living hen in my entire life.”
“It won’t stay still; I don’t know how to kill it.”
“I have killed the chicken, can I tell my joke now?”
“These creatures come for several years, inhabit a body like that, they experiment and then die in order to go back to the future.”
“Maybe this rabbit also comes from the future.”
“He’s upset with me again. This man is going to end up hating me.”
“Did it cross your mind, you dumb head, that it’s going to die?
You should’ve thought about it. I hope you won’t blow your top as you did with the rabbit. You’ve killed it!”
“We could have been happy!
You are right, but let’s get rational.”
- Slamdance Film Festival – Competition Section – USA, 2012
- Best Film (Adrian Sitaru), Mar del PlataFilm Festival, International competition – Argentina, 2012
- Audience Award, Chicago International Film Festival – USA, 2013
- Golden Trailer Award, Golden Trailer Awards – USA, 2013
- Best Actor in a Leading Role (Adrian Titieni, Gheorghe Ifrim), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Clara Vodă), Best Screenplay (Adrian Sitaru), Best Cinematography (Adrian Silișteanu), Best Film Editing (Andrei Gorgan, Adrian Sitaru), Best Sound (TamásZányi, GáborBalázs), Best Original Music (Adrian Sitaru, Sebastian Zsemlye), Best Art Direction (Mălina Ionescu), Best Hair and Make-up (Dana Roșeanu), Gopo Awards – Romania, 2014
- Best Film, Let’s Cee Film Festival – Austria, 2013
- Best World Cinema, Portobello Film Festival – Great Britain, 2013
- Best Art Direction (feature) (Christian Niculescu),