A modern fable and a dark comedy-drama, in the middle of the Swedish nature. A teenage deer who, after her mother has been shot dead… What would life be like if humans did not exist?

Credits / Collaborators / Cast

Deer, Léonie Vincent
Crow, Anno Lindblad
Ladybug, Katja Ferm
Cow, Agnes Hargne Wallander
Dog, Martin Ibohm
Deer-mom, Ellen Sjöberg
Human, Aurea Romero

Director/screenwriter/editor, Joakim Thörn
Producer, Hilding Bjersby
Co-producer, Jimi Vall Peterson
Costume designer, Sarah Mae White
DoP, Olle Lundin

Director’s vision

By making this film I wish to shed light upon, and provoke thoughts about, us humans’ complex moral when it comes to animals. A way of illustrating humans’ overpowered impact on animals’ living conditions, and the concept of who should be allowed to feel, and who should be allowed to live.

My interest in Nature has been a big part of my life, and over the last few years I have taken a greater interest in animal welfare/animal ethics. One of the earliest descriptions of man’s relationship with animals comes from Aristotle, who in 330 B.C. wrote: “Plants exist for the sake of animals, and brute beasts for the sake of man”. Even though a lot in the world has changed ever since, our relationship with animals is still quite similar.

The image of animals as part of a hierarchy, where they exist in favor of those with bigger intellectual ability, has in many ways built the starting point of our civilisation. This way, different animals are given different functions to serve humans, and the different animals’ wellbeing are therefore valued unequally.

In the 21st century, we buy expensive bird food to feed the small birds outside the window, so that they do not have to starve during the winter. While at breakfast, we have eggs from chickens who have lived their whole lives in misery, in a coop as big as a shoe box.

But what if all the different animals’ wellbeing caused us humans the feel same amount of compassion and involvement? Wild animals, pets and the ones who are to become food?
In this film I wish to humanize the animals, so that they themselves can incarnate, contemplate and fantasize about their living conditions. How do they look upon their own existence? And the life conditions that has been dictated by us humans?

We tend to see animals as ”a bunch of cows in the pasture” or ”some deers in the forest”. But in fact, groups of cows have relationships and social structures between parents, children, siblings and friends. In similar ways, so have deers. Basically, relations and family matters to animals. So, in many ways, it is really not that different being a human, cow, crow or deer (we know less about insects). We have more similarities with animals than differences, not least in how we perceive wellbeing, suffering etc.

In the film, all animals, when played by a human in costume, get to be the same size. When an insect or a bird are the same size as a dog or cow, their lives are given the same status and value. Which is a way of indirectly saying – we are all the same. Animals. And humans.

In other words: In this film we make a visit to the animals’ world. Not as we humans know it. But as the animals know us. A fantasy where all of their thoughts, emotions and the smallest of sensations are real. As if we humans for a while existed in the animal’s world.

Joakim Thörn, Director


Genre: Drama / Comedy / Experimental
Country: Sweden
Language: Swedish
Length in minutes: 14
YEAR: 2023