Natasha is a lonely, middle-aged woman who works in administration at the local zoo where her office colleagues constantly make fun of her. Her depressing situation is made worse by her sanctimonious mother who lives with her and severely limits her freedom. Everything changes drastically when Natasha suddenly grows a tail. This absurd incident is the starting point of a series of astonishing events, including a tumultuous romance with a younger radiologist. Paradoxically, the appendage becomes a vehicle for Natasha’s transformation as well as a foundation for establishing her identity and emancipating herself. The second feature from Russian director Ivan I. Tverdovsky is unexpectedly realistic in style and form, the only fantastical element being the aforementioned tail. With its simple narrative approach, “Zoology” becomes a highly allegorical tale about the fear of Otherness. At the same time, in true post-humanist spirit, it subverts definitions of what we perceive as human and what we see as animalistic.

Awards: Karlovy Vary IFF - Special Prize of the Jury, Cottbus FF - Best Film, Best  Actress (Natalia Pavlenkova)

  • director: Ivan I. Tverdovsky
  • script: Ivan I. Tverdovsky
  • DoP: Aleksandr Mikeladze
  • cast: Natalia Pavlenkova, Dmitri Groshev, Irina Chipizhenko, Maria Tokareva
  • duration: 87 min
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