About Animals I killed Last Summer

Original titel: Djur jag dödade förra sommaren

A young boy kills small animals and his father can’t handle it. A handful of small animals are killed, and in the end even the father gets blood on his hands. This is a macabre, comical film of a moral dilemma with no easy answers.

Director’s Statement
The issue of killing small animals is something that becomes more and more relevant in my life, as my two sons grow older and start “exploring” nature in a curious and sometimes cruel way. When thinking of my own moral code in this matter, I realize the complexity of it – I can’t kill the small fishes my sons catch, but I have no problems eating fish or meat from an animal that someone else has slaughtered. So I don’t have a high moral code – I just don’t want to get blood on my hands. I find that both tragic and interesting. I give no easy answers to the moral questions raised in this film, but just like the father in the film, I try to remember that one particular sentence my father told me as a child, that made me grow up and not become a “psychopath”.

The aesthetics and the dramaturgy of the film are quite simple. There are six scenes. They all start with a close-up of an animal that – we soon learn – will die. We cut to a wider image of the scene, in which we see the setting and the characters involved.

The tableau scenes are for me a question of both filmic beauty and a sense truthfulness and realism. When I create these scenes I often start by making a drawing. And the finished result is quite often very close to that drawing.

Gradually, the animals of the film get bigger, the tension builds and the perspective turns to the father who gets more entangled in his moral thoughts, his worries about his son and his lies. Gradually, the aesthetics brakes the strict dogma and turns to a handheld camera and a faster edit in the closing scene. That was an intuitive choice, but the main reason has to do with my will to make the scene both realistic and emotionally intense and also just to play with the dogma.

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