KRÄHEN SCHIESSEN / SHOOTING CROWS
(DOC. 20 MIN. 2018)
[…] The filmmaker slowly creates a polarization between direct observation and observing from a safe distance, between the time of happenings and the time of reports. This polarization displays the ambiguity between the documentary and the fictional gazes – and cinematic genres.
[…] In so skillfully showing her ability to make a criminal drama blossom from of a naturalistic documentary, Christine Hürzeler gives us the chance to experience the magic and perversity of cinema.
Giuseppe Di Salvatore, Filmexplorer
A park in the fog. Crows flap and caw in the sky. A homeless man sleeps between the trees. A woman disappears. Now and then a crow is shot: as a deterrent. The crows rally after every shot. The police gather evidence. What is really going on? Are reality and imagination slowly blurring?
Ein Park im Nebel. Krähen flattern und krächzen am Himmel. Ein Obdachloser schläft zwischen den Bäumen. Eine Frau verschwindet. Hin und wieder wird eine Krähe geschossen, zur Abschreckung. Die Krähen sammeln sich nach jedem Schuss. Die Polizei sichert Spuren. Was geschieht wirklich? Verschwimmen Realität und Imagination allmählich?
I used to walk through the nearby park every day on my way through the city. There were usually a few crows sitting in the trees. One morning, they were making an extraordinary noise and there was a huge swarm of them above, with more and more birds joining them all the time. There was a real sense of unease among the people in the park. Nobody knew what was going on. “Just don’t think about The Birds” is what went through my head. The doors to the daycare centre where I was taking my daughter closed faster than usual behind us. A short time later I walked the same route back. The crows had disappeared, apart from a single one, sitting in a tree. I wondered what had happened. Had there really been so many crows, or had I only imagined that the flock was getting larger?
I went investigating, and found out that, now and again, a crow will be shot within the park – to frighten them off, so that they keep their distance and don’t scare people. Strangely, the crows gather in the sky after every shot, circling and cawing. I spent a great deal of time with them. They are shy animals that have to be introduced carefully to the camera. In the course of my work I got to know the farther reaches of the park, including the people who linger there, and so have a different view than the ordinary visitor. In addition to the crows and the people, my attention was caught by the little everyday irritations – things, events and sayings – that we notice but immediately ignore. I thought of them as tiny cracks, allowing a different reality to shine through – as though, in the atmosphere of the park, they allow the imaginary realm of our thoughts, feelings and fears to become perceptible and real.
When editing the film, what I had observed in the park gradually began to take shape as a story – a potential story, in which the real and the imaginary become increasingly blurred. It became a kind of science fiction, cut from the everyday. In it, the crows serve as transitional figures in the human perception. They have many connotations in myths, sagas, legends, films and poetry, and are key in the film to our fragile relationship with reality. The film tells of the peripheries of human certainty, and the ever-shifting boundaries of perception.
CAMERA Tom Gibbons, Tobias Dengler, Christine Hürzeler
EDITING Jann Anderegg, Christine Hürzeler
SOUNDDESIGN & MIX Jonathan Schorr
ADDITIONALFOLEYS Peter Bräker
MUSIC John Gürtler
VIOLA Shasta Ellenbogen
SONG & VOICE Ingrid Lukas
NARRATOR Philippe Graff
COMPOSITING / VFX Carmen Büchner / Cinnamon: Vadim Konov, Alex Prihodko, Julia Dychenko, Mykhailo Yefimenko
GRADING Jürgen Kupka
TITLE Roman Kälin
POSTPRODUCTION SUPERVISION Simon Gutknecht, Rebecca Siegfried, Norbert Kottmann
GRAPHICS Gerhard Blättler
TRAILER Annette Brütsch
ACCOUNTING Hansjörg Bachmann
WRITTEN & DIRECTED Christine Hürzeler
FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED BY
Bundesamt für Kultur (BAK) Zürcher Filmstiftung Lotteriefonds Kanton Solothurn Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Visions du Réel, Nyon (CH) / DOK Leipzig, Leipzig (D) / FRONTDOC, Aosta (I) / Pravo Ljudski Film Festival, Sarajevo (BIH) / Solothurner Filmtage, Solothurn (CH) / Signes de Nuits, Lisboa (PT) & Berlin (D) & Paris (F) / Internationale Kurzfilmwoche Regensburg, Regensburg (D) / GO SHORT, Nijmegen (NL) / AIFVF, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Ohio (USA) / VIEWPOINT Documentary Film Festival, Ghent (BE) / Documenta Madrid, Madrid (E) / Huesca International Film Festival, Huesca (E) / Altan Khalis International Film Festival, Ulaanbaatar, (MNG) / VIDEOEX, Zürich (CH) / Hongkong Arthouse Filmfestival, Hongkong (HK) / Boston Short Film Festival, Boston (USA) / San Francisco Frozen Film Festival 2018, San Francisco (USA) / Split Film Festival, Split (HRV) / Tacoma Film Festival, Tacoma (USA) / Minikino Film Week, Bali (IDN) / Pune Short Film Festival, Pune (IND) / Toronto Arthouse Film Festival, Toronto (CAN) / Festival Internacional de Cine de Autor, Guadalajara (MEX)
Best Glocal Propose Award (Seoul International NewMedia Film Festival, Seoul, KR) / Best Documentary Short Award (HONG KONG Arthouse Film Festival, Hongkong, HGK) / Winner CH-Competition (Videoex, Zürich) / Special Mention International Fugas Competition (Documenta Madrid, E) / Best Photography Award (VIEWPOINT Documentary Film Festival, Ghent, BE) / Film House Award for Visionary Filmmaking (AIFVF, Ohio, USA) / Special Mention for the Night Award (Signes de Nuits, Berlin, D)