In this Berlinale award-winning short film, a film crew shoots the tests that scientists are doing on laboratory mice. A visceral approach to the ethics of documentation.
AWARDS: Jury Award (Silver Berlin Bear). Berlin International Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTIONS: Guanajuato International Film Festival/ Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival/ Oberhausen International Short Film Festival
Laborat. Mice, scientists, filmmakers
Interior, day. Oncological Research Center in Berlin, January 2011.
A film team meets with researchers. Using analogue filming methods, the film team records experiments performed on mice. The mice are forced to undergo diverse measures.
Whether the film deals with one or several tests, one or several mice is difficult to ascertain – the tests and the naked animals are too similar. Parallel to this, the film team documents their own activities, necessary to make the recordings.
In Laborat, filmmaker Guillaume Cailleau interweaves the levels. He documents examinations performed on the object with great precision, while simultaneously reflecting on the process of the documentation itself. Distance to the object becomes suspended.
The object becomes the subject, the spectator an accomplice. A tapestry of images. Unease sets in.