About ANiMA      Sketches     Making Of     Exhibition

About ANiMA

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Why this film was to be made

It’s hard to say where the idea of this film actually comes from.
After finishing “ANiMA” I’ve realized, that the story as well as the characters and the world they are living in was formed during a lot of years and there were a lot of different factors that have influenced and inspired this work.

The base for creating “ANiMA” is doubtlessly my fascination for all kind of fairytales and myths.
Since my childhood I have been collecting and illustrating fairytales of all world, which I loved so much. - Fantastic realities and magical creatures fascinate me since I can think.
Now it clear, that all these stories and fairytales, ever conceived by myself, can be regarded as sketches for “ANiMA”. Without them neither the characters nor the story for this film would have been created.

The presence of various beasts and magical creatures accompanies human beings as long as their history.
So at all times and mythologies the fusion of beast and man in one person has always been a suggestion of divine or demonic origin and potential.

My primer interest was the combination of human and animal trates and the character resulting from this mixture.
- What is the share of man and that of bull in Minotaurus? Is Centaur more wild than clever or is he just the opposite? What essence do spirits of nature have and what is their relation toward human beings? How tender or aggressive are Harpies and why are they described as frightful monsters (Sirens of Odysseus).
However at the same time some of their birdman-relatives are esteemed as gods (Egypt gods Re, Toth).
Why are mermaids so attractive to human men and why almost every relationship between a man and a nature-spirit turnes to tragedy: in most cases the human being has to die (Fouque’s “Undine”, “Melosine”-myth , Andersen’s “Little mermaid”, “Rhiannon”-legend).
A lot of stories and fairytales define the ability to understand animal language as devine gift (Orpheus, Lewis’ “Narnia”, etc.).
At the same time the transformation from a human being into a beast or plant is realized as a kind of punishment or curse.
In Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” Daphne is turned into a laurel-tree. The Greek forest-god Pan, half man, half goat is chasing for a nymph, who tries to hide from him and gets turned to reed.
Fairytales in various cultures tell of people, being bewitched to animals, birds or plants. This mostly are cases of malicious witching or evil forces.
Sometimes such transformation is the punishment for bad behaviour of the human being.
There are numerous “bad stepmothers” who bewitch their stepchildren to ravens, swans, deer, goats or frogs.
The transformation of a man into beast (or vice versa) is linked with magic.

Doubtlessly the most terrible and terrifying transformation is to turn a living subject into a „dead“ stone. This theme you also can find in the most different storys and legends, starting with the Bible (where Lot's wife is turned into a pillar of salt). In many cases the transformation into stone can also be interpeted in a symbolic way, when someone becomes unhuman, cold and „cruel as stone“ („has a heart of stone“).

In the most cases the human being submits to the nature forces.
He either searches for the way of communication with them in order to request an answer to his questions, or he is scared of their gigantic, mightful powers.
Animals and birds are in fairytales the connecting link between the man and the myterious forces of nature. They are kind of transmision between humans and the elements of nature; as if human beings have lost the language to communicate with greater power after they have put themselves on the top of the creation.
So the beasts take over the role of the pure, original, inexplicable and unachievable powers of the nature.
Fairytale persons often come across speaking animals - a (white) deer, a cat, a lion, a raven, who seem to know everything and serves him with a useful advise. Usually beasts possess knowledge about the cause and result of a situation:
in this ability they excell the human beings.
However we hardly find a person who wants to become an animal.
The man admires the beast for its relationship to the big nature, however he would never replace his human nature by the animal one.

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