28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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director: Maéva Ranaivojaona, Georg Tiller
original title: ZAHO ZAY
country: Austria, France, Madagascar
year: 2020
running time: 78 min.


Endless cane fields on the "red island" of Madagascar. This disturbing comment from a female guard at an overcrowded prison serves as the basis for a psychoanalytic search for a missing father. Hypnotising fragments of images of Malagasy society torn apart by war, poverty, corruption, and crime. Mobilised crowds of submissive yardbirds, female prisoners forced into hard domestic labour, shamanic rituals of impoverished villagers. A roll of dice - an obsessive ritual of a suspecting father, a serial killer - inspires the mystery of a young woman's desire. A literary journey with elements of an alienated detective story accompanies us alongside real and symbolic prisoners throughout the history of a decimated island.
"Here‘s My Baby, Oh Beautiful Foreign Bird (Malagasy Lullaby)
White bird from afar,
take my baby away
Fly with her high up in the sky,
and if she hushes, bring her back to me.
O o o o o, ooooooo."
G. Tiller, M. Ranaivojaona
Q&A with Maéva Ranaïvojaona and Georg Tiller:


Georg Tiller (1982) dropped out of his philosophy and theatre studies to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under the tutelage of Harun Farocki and study directing at the Film Academy with Michael Haneke and Christian Berger. He also works as a freelance director in the naivsuper art collective. He has made several features, documentaries, and experimental films for Subobscura Films. 
Ranaïvojaona Maéva (1983) was born in Toulouse and graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Dijon and Bourges. As an assistant, she collaborated with Ernest Net and Kristina Solomoukha and later made two short films for Cannes IFF and Rotterdam IFF. She currently works as a director and producer at Subobscura Films and lives between Paris and Vienna.

more about film

director: Maéva Ranaivojaona, Georg Tiller
cast: Eugène Ranaïvojaona, Eva Ranaïvojaona , Nabiha Akkari
producer: Thomas Lambert, Georg Tiller, Maéva Ranaivojaona
photography: Georg Tiller
editing: Barbara Bossuet
music: André Fèvre, GAHMS
sound: Térence Meunier, Herimandresy Randriambololona
sound design: André Fèvre
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