Belfast Film Festival

12th – 21st April 2018

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Zoology

Directed by Ivan Tverdovskiy

Zoology

Middle-aged zoo worker Natasha still lives with her mother in a small coastal town. She is stuck and it seems that life has no surprises for her until one day - she grows a tail and turns her life around.

Embarrassed at first, Natasha decides to go further with the transformation and use it as an opportunity to redefine herself as a person and as a woman. With the new “accessory” she gets access to the life that she has never experienced before – she starts a relationship with a man, who finds her attractive, she goes out and allows herself to be foolish for the first time in her life. But her second puberty eventually comes to an end and Natasha has to make a choice between reality and illusion.

Pavlenkova’s rich, emotional performance is one of the reasons it becomes such an involving, touching film but Tverdovsky’s sure touch, bone-dry social satire and affinity with the outsider confirms him as a talent to watch. Allan Hunter

Zoology is a genuine oddity: bizarre, surprising and affecting. If it’s meaning is muddled, Natasha Pavlenkova’s central turn makes the tale – and the tail – worthwhile. Empire Magazine