Romania, Poland, Germany / 2023
88 min. / Original version with English subtitles
Arsenal 1zu den Ticketszu dem Kalender
“One of the many virtues of Sebastian Mihăilescu’s startling first feature is that you never know where he’s taking you” is what film critic and Forum consultant Luciano Monteagudo wrote about MAMMALIA. The Romanian director looks at his mid-thirties protagonist Camil as he experiences his own version of gender trouble. After his partner joins a group of women who carry out occult rituals, she withdraws from him. He grapples her actions, with himself and with his mildly toxic masculinity. Elements of folk horror play a role, as does a healthy respect for surrealism. In its carefully composed wide shots, the film often allows two plot lines to flutter together: one in the foreground, the other in the background or even out of sight of the audience, which only amplifies the impression of the unbridled.