A hunter has been tracking a herd of deer for a long time now. The sun has given way to night and a snowstorm. While looking for tracks left by the animals, he makes a strange and unexpected encounter. An old man, covered in thick fur, invites him to follow him. He trusts him, but after a few meters, sinking into the snow, he collapses exhausted on the ground. The stranger holds him close and, holding him in his arms, leads him to shelter in his cabin, lays him down in a bed and feeds him. Feverish, he dreams that he is surrounded by the herd of deer he used to chase, as if he were one of them. A voice whispers to him, "You don't belong here, go away."

When he wakes up, the hunter flees from the strange dwelling. In the village people are very surprised to see him. They thought he was dead. The hunter is dismayed: he thinks he has only been gone one night, but they tell him that instead he has been missing for more than a month.

My research began from the myths of the peasant culture of the country where I have always lived. In various peasant cultures, a hunting technique is adopted which requires the hunter, in order to flush out the prey, to transform himself into the hunted animal. However, the risk of this process of transmutation consists in the possible loss of control which would lead to man becoming totally animal. The questioning of anthropocentrism is the fundamental theme of the film. In this regard, Michelangelo Frammartino, a director with whom I have worked several times, says: “I like filming rituals because they have an iron, flawless script. Cinema is all built on man: language, the scale of shots. When you film something that isn't human, language starts to creak, but so does the device. The device is built in a way that does not require human movement. Moving man is not just a conceptual operation as it becomes necessary to build a new language.”

Davide Palella
Davide Palella
Davide Palella
Director of photography
Andrea Benjamin Manenti
Film Editor
Davide Palella
Storm D’Amico
Altri credits

Danilo Monte (Post-produzione); Tommaso Barbaro (Sound Design e Mix); Andrea Grasselli (Camera Assistant)

Production Director
Marco Crispano
Organizzatore generale
Emma Thompson
Executive production
Marco Crispano
Andrea Gatopoulos
con il sostegno di Film Commission Torino Piemonte - Short Film Fund - giugno 2023
Lights On
Operatore steadycam
Andrea Agnisetta
Last update: 25 September 2023