The Second Life (in production)
Dokumentarfilm, Deutschland, 2018
While the global human population has reached its peak with a staggering 8 billion people by now and is still increasing, biodiversity evermore decreases. In brief, the wildlife in Europe is in direct conflict with human development and his longings for the cultivation and control of nature.
Three taxidermists – people who know the art of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals – follow up a new approach to raise awareness for this issue: They aim to situate stuffed animals in different public spaces, contrasting them with the man-made urban environment. In so doing, they raise everlastingly significant and fundamental human questions revolving around the human control of nature, the interaction of nature and culture as well as the humans’ steady strive for immortality. And they are giving to the animals a second life.
Furthermore, they hereby demonstrate how taxidermy is able to deeply link nature and culture, humans and animals. An important step forward because taxidermy too seems to be a world in extinction: Taxidermists have to fight against the common prejudice that they are only interested in poaching and hunting although they are highly interested in protecting living species and are playing a key role in terms of network, knowledge and preservation.
Our protagonists so far work for two well-known European Natural History Museums and have already communicated their general agreement: Karine Maurice and Christophe De Mey (Brussels) who, in his private life, turns into a drag queen and thus here too plays with the boundary crossings of nature and culture; and Maurizio Gattabria (Rome), a distinguished expert with an enormous font of anecdotes.
Director: Davide Gambino