J. M. Coetzee writes: “I watched it, and almost at once fell in love with Walter, the New World version of the elephant. But then, after 14 or 40 million years, I started to get intimations that bad luck was on its way … The script is excellent and the narration even better…“
Log Line: an aggressive, anthropocentric, angry citizen against a gentle and amiable Tapir. Who wins? I fell in love three years ago. With a Tapir. There are people who fall in love with skyscrapers, hair clips, or rubber boots. For me it was the buxom Tapir Chico. He really exists. He is fourteen years old, lives in the Berlin zoo, entrance Lionsgate, first house on the left. We met frequently. Thus I learned his family has been around for over 40 million years. Tapirs possess all that they need. They don’t have to keep developing new apps or gadgets. What would they gain from sprinting around on two legs with a monstrously overblown brain? For millennia they stayed sufficient to their world as they were. Before the continents divided, you could meet them everywhere. As you can today in Malaysia, where there are still some, and in South America. And they haven’t changed their appearance over 40 million years.
Tapirs are going extinct. Some are still here. Hence this film, a hymn, a song of praise to the peaceful and harmless.
INTERVIEW WITH A TAPIR is not a “nature film”, or educational documentary. It is a passionate film, in which man and beast engage in a verbal exchange. But not only that. Philosophical questions about death and extinction, time and nothingness, are also raised.
The film (82 minutes) consists of Smart-phone recordings made in the Berlin zoo, of hundreds of sampled Videos and Images from the internet, and some self-recordings in my room in Uhlandstrasse, not far from the zoo. So there was no great travel and transport cost for anyone. A years ticket for the zoo and two empty beer bottles – no more was needed. The rest was long hours on my computer at home, and a little more electricity than usual.
Nellis du Biel performs all the voices.