Online catalogue / Daniel Suljic / Johanna Freise :

Short Life
Kurzes Leben
AT / DE / 2007
9 min.

kurzes leben (short life) is a drawn film. Each of its drawings is a tiny masterpiece, complex and precisely made. This produces unexpected shifts in perspective, transformations and changes in lighting that lead from one state to another, all of them in harmony with the film´s psychological development. Lines outline the figures, chiaroscuro floods the spaces, its dynamism is the engine driving the action, as if it had replaced the passage of time - a flowing time made visible by graphite.
A penniless but pure-hearted little girl crystallizes, a fragile being, nearly naked, and filled with a yearning for and curiosity about life and love. And she finds love, smiles impishly and with relief at the sight of crossing beams of light from the two lovers. Immediately after that they leave her abruptly.
Guided by a belief in the just logic of fairy tales, we want to see the innocent child receive the reward she deserves. But the prophecy proves to be a fraud, the talisman will not be able to protect her. Fate does not exist, though a fateful series of horrendous and mysterious accidents takes place.
"Can things get any worse? Yes, they can."
Almost tragicomic, this descent that never seems to end, all the way to Hell, where the Devil himself is at work, with his enigmatic cruelty, the father of real-life splatter.
The girl´s prosaically sober comments are unexpected. Her frank language does not detract from the film´s darkly romantic poetry, intensifying it instead. Bluntness has always been a close companion of subtlety.
"Then screw love, I say!"
Deceived, stripped bare, abandoned, martyred, given up on by the doctors, the young girl, barely breathing now, has survived:
"... but I think I´ll have made it soon."
Whether she truly does beat life and succeed in dying or vice versa is left open. More probable is that her quota of unhappiness has simply been met - the spiral can only move upward after this deepest of depths. Or the girl, and we as well, must merely wake up to escape this nightmarish tale. Each awakening is also a rise from the ashes.
Work on the film lasted a total of four years.

(Mara Mattuschka)

Translation: Steve Wilder

A film by:
- Daniel Suljic
- Johanna Freise

- Animation/Cartoon

original language:
- german

Available Prints:
- Betacam SP PAL
- 35 mm

price: 36 EUR


rental conditions

more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Daniel Suljic
- Biographie: Johanna Freise

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