|Seattle International Film Festival |
Russia | 2016 | 87 minutes | Ivan I. Tverdovsky
After middle-aged introvert Natasha discovers a tail growing from the bottom of her spine it sparks a newfound femininity and hunger for life that leads her to a handsome X-ray technician in this whimsical, romantic tale of transformation.
Zoology is a wonderfully offbeat dramedy that centers on introverted, middle-aged Natasha (brilliantly played with conviction by relative newcomer Natalia Pavlenkova). She lives a quiet life with her religious, TV-addicted mother in a small coastal town on the Black Sea, and works in administration at the local zoo. Snubbed and scoffed at by her colleagues, she often feels more comfortable with animals than with people. This predilection somehow manifests itself, and soon her dreams of being "normal" are dashed by the discovery of a tail growing at the bottom of her spine. A handsome young X-ray technician at the local clinic becomes intrigued with her case, and, to Natasha's surprise, romance blossoms. Her deformity soon becomes a jumping-off point toward embracing a newfound femininity and hunger for life. Zoology is a provocative film about transformation and taking destiny into your own hands. Ivan Tverdovsky directs this whimsical story that effectively comments on themes of disability and otherness, especially in post-Communist Russia where it plays out. Everyone has a tail—some hide it and some cannot.
Still in his 20s, Russian director and screenwriter Ivan I. Tverdovskiy has already achieved more than most filmmakers hope to. His 2014 film, Corrections Class, garnered praise from film festivals around the world. Tverdovskiy's newest film, Zoology, has made an even bigger impact.
Sponsored by The Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies UW
Director: Ivan I. Tverdovsky
Principal Cast: Natalia Pavlenkova, Alexander Gorchilin, Dmitriy Groshev, Irina Chipizhenko, Maria Tokareva, Anna Astashkina
Premiere Status: Seattle
Country: Russia, France, Germany
Running Time: 87 minutes
Producer: Natalia Mokritskaya, Mila Rozanova, Uliana Savelieva
Screenplay: Ivan I. Tverdovsky
Cinematographers: Aleksandr Mikeladze
Editors: Ivan Tverdovsky, Vincent Assman
Website: Official Film Website
Awards: Fantastic Fest 2016 (Next Wave Features, Best Picture); Karlovy Vary 2016 (Speical Jury Prize); Cottbus Film Festival 2016 (Best Film)
Filmography: Corrections Class (2014)
Has Subtitles: Yes
US Distributor: Cartilage Films
International Sales: New Europe Film Sales