This is a film about dying, but more importantly it’s a film about dying well. Max, a nondescript used car salesman in Germany, has been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Faced with the knowledge that he doesn’t have much longer to live, he impulsively steals money and a flashy Jaguar from the dealership and runs away to Mexico. Meanwhile, we are introduced to Emma, an eccentric young woman who lives alone and breeds pigs. She cares for them from birth and, when it’s time, slaughters them as lovingly as she raised them, slicing their throats and cradling their heads as they slip into death. When Max crashes the Jag into her farm, Emma rescues him and promptly falls in love with the fated fugitive. Max’s plan to die in Mexico fades under the influence of Emma’s lust and charming, forthright manner, and her pig farm becomes his paradise. Director Sven Taddicken pointedly contrasts Western medicine’s sometimes intrusive approach to prolonging life by any means necessary with Emma’s graceful acceptance of the inevitable. His film doesn’t pretend to alleviate the physical pain that comes with dying, or the sorrow, but it does show us how the process of passing away can be less traumatic—even, as the title dares to suggest, blissful. Buoyed by engaging performances and timely doses of humor, this odd and wondrous film illuminates the mysterious passage from life to death with delicately understated skill. –SFIFF
Sven Taddicken, born 1974 in Hamburg, studied in the departments of directing and feature film at Baden-Württemberg Film Academy in Ludwigsburg from 1996 to 2002. During his time at the film academy, Taddicken already finished several award-winning films, including the 15-minute long film “El Cordobes” that won the German Short Film Award at the 1999 Dresden Film Festival, among other awards. One year later, Taddicken finished “Schäfchen zählen” (“Counting Sheep”), another short film, that won a nomination for the 2000 Student Academy Awards.
In 2001, Taddicken finished his first feature-length film “Mein Bruder der Vampir” (“Getting My Brother Laid”) that also won several awards and starred Julia Jentsch, Alexander Scheer, and Marie-Luise Schramm. The film tells the story of a mentally handicapped young man who discovers his sexuality. Taddicken’s graduation film at Film Academy, “Einfach so bleiben” (“Stay Like This”), won the German Short Film Award in Gold. In 2004, Taddicken… read more