The Oneness of All Issues: On Sofia Alaoui’s Animalia | Far Flungers

The movie premiered at this 12 months’s Sundance movie competition, and was just lately acquired for distribution by Egypt’s Movie Clinic, as headed by producer Mohamed Hefzy. “Animalia” is anticipated to display screen at extra festivals world wide earlier than a large launch. 

Astonishingly, that is the French-Moroccan filmmaker’s debut characteristic movie. Her first quick movie, “So What If the Goats Die,” received the Sundance Movie Pageant Grand Jury Prize in 2020 earlier than successful a César award for Finest Brief Movie in 2021. Sofia Alaoui describes “Animalia” as “a human odyssey. An ode to nature and the query of the place of the human on this advanced world.” The thought got here to her when she returned to Morocco after spending years overseas, when Alaoui was confronted with the dogma of faith and humanity’s obsession with cash as a way to achieve happiness. Coming nose to nose with an ideology that tries to fit your needs right into a mould would alienate anybody, like an outsider visiting an unrecognizable residence from far past. To say this movie resonated deeply resonated with me on a non secular stage could be an understatement. 

We’re all born right into a society the place a set of rules laid down by an authority is blindly and undisputedly taken as reality. Generally these rules—authorized, non secular, or cultural—create social limitations that separate us from each other as a substitute of bringing us nearer collectively. “Animalia” is in regards to the interconnectedness of the whole lot within the universe. It challenges the notion that girls ought to conform to a algorithm as a way to slot in or be perceived pretty much as good, and it defies the concept males have a sure position to satisfy to be accepted in society. “Animalia” reveals us that irrespective of how a lot society categorizes us via social stratification, be it primarily based on wealth, earnings, sexuality, beliefs, or in any other case, on the finish of the day, we’re all reduce from the identical fabric. It subtly builds as much as the concept all dwelling issues, human and nonhuman, are related to the cosmos.

The movie is stuffed with these philosophical musings about time and our place within the universe with out ever spoon-feeding us any solutions. It merely questions. “Animalia” revolves round Itto (Oumaïma Barid), a pregnant girl who finds herself alone after her husband leaves on a enterprise journey. Throughout his absence, the presence of a supernatural entity or larger being disrupts society as a complete. The entire nation descends into chaos. The plenty flock towards locations of worship, desperately looking for solace and peace. And because the world is confronted with the fact that we aren’t alone, Itto embarks on an existential journey that makes her query the indoctrinated narrative surrounding her since beginning.