In this episode, Dario talks to visual artist Janis Rafa about her sensuous, enigmatic first feature, Kala Azar. Set in a nameless Southern European wasteland, a stoic young couple exist in a semi-feral periphery, they survive by collecting and cremating deceased pets for owners who need the fantasy of ritualized passing. But they also cannot help but clean up the number of dead animals which they regularly encounter lifeless by the roadside. A film that challenges the material and ideological distinction between humans and animals and forces a confrontation with uncomfortable realities of a dystopian existence that defines increasing numbers of transient souls.

Janis discusses with Dario the semi-autobiographical themes of the film, along with focusing on lives lived at the margins of modernity, trying to create an original cinematic form based on ellipses, and the transposing of an experimental arts practice into the framework of 'narrative' film.

Neil and Dario also discuss a wonderful fan letter they received from a valued Patreon subscriber and Neil reviews two Blu-ray releases: Spike Lee's Jungle Fever (1991, BFI) and Tsui Hark's Time and Tide (2000, Eureka/Masters of Cinema)


Watch Kala Azar on @Mubi

Janis Rafa's Website

Savina Petkova's Review

Wendy Ide's Review

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