Directed by Anja Dornieden & Juan David González Monroy.
Although aurochs, the ancestors of today’s cattle, died out in the 17th century, some people have tried to resurrect these legendary, prestigious beasts. Lutz Heck, a German zoologist and friend of Hermann Göring with whom he shared a love of hunting and the dream to repopulate Europe’s forests with these horned creatures, tried to do so. Using manipulated photos, sliding intertitles onto transparencies in a documentary approach whose seriousness is the guarantee of a tacit but profound critical irony, the meticulous filmmaking duo takes us through the illustrated works of this idiosyncratic savant. But they also introduce us to some modern-day scientists from the Netherlands who share a similar dream. A meditation on celluloid (another endangered species) about survival, this film, to the delight of viewers, never shies away from the (albeit ghostly) powers of beauty. (Jean-Pierre Rehm)