Tierische Liebe

  • 110'
  • Austria
  • 1995
In the outer suburbs of big cities where hundreds of thousands of people live side by side, and in an age when the technological possibilities for communicating have increased dramatically, people have paradoxically become more lonely. They are disappointed by their fellows and turn to animals. Dogs and other pets have become partners in conversation and in life, they share our cuddles and our beds. Social outcasts, drug and alcohol addicts and the chronically lonely cling on to their animals as their last hope. On the other end of their dog's lead, documentary-maker Ulrich Seidl allows himself to be carried away into the unknown life of the present-day pariah. Seidl is not someone to stop modestly on the doorstep. And if people are lucky enough to have a bedroom, then the director doesn't stop there either. He penetrates to pet owners most intimate moments and doesn't flinch, however far his interviewees go. But however revealing Seidl's portrayal of the relationship between man and animal may be, this does not seem to be his true subject. The contact shown beween people and animals reveals a human and social phenomenon. Ulrich Seidl makes an innovative kind of social documentary with the visual suppleness of a feature and with an steely gaze at his surroundings. He shows where society ferments, mildews and rots. Seidl has a special gift for showing his subjects utterly plainly. This is one aspect that makes his work controversial. Critics tend to refer to the victims rather than subjects of Seidl's films.
Ulrich Seidl, Ulrich Seidl
International premiere
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
Lotus-Film GmbH, Erich Lackner
Austrian Film Commission
Ulrich Seidl
Michael Glawogger
Ulrich Seidl