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Directed by Anna Sofie Hartmann
Germany, Denmark, 2019
Festival Focus: Locarno Film Festival


An ethnologist in her late 30s arrives on an island in the south of Denmark to study its inhabitants and record their traditions. Their homes are set to be demolished to build a tunnel linking to Germany. Unexpectedly, she meets an attractive younger man, a laborer who’s been hired from Poland.

Our take

Next in our series of gems from the 2019 Locarno Film Festival is this multilayered, hybrid delicacy. Giraffe attempts to decipher the place of memory within globalization, interweaving the stories of real people affected by a construction project with a fictional ethnologist’s life and love.

Critics reviews

Like Dara’s documentation, Giraffe is mournful – the receding of the past is also the receding of the natural world as we know it. But when watching the film I wonder if it is enough to simply document loss, to live it and participate in it, and whether mourning can itself become a kind of paralysis.
August 15, 2019
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The magnificent beasts tower over the film. It is perhaps what you cannot quite see at the furthest point of Hartmann’s elaborate mise-en-abyme.
August 14, 2019
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