‘The Mechanics of Things’ Picked Up by Lightdox



French-based sales agency Lightdox has acquired the international rights to feature documentary “The Mechanics of Things” by Italian director Alessandra Celesia, ahead of its international premiere Saturday at the Torino Film Festival. The film had its world premiere at Les Etats généraux du Film Documentaire in Lussas this August. The exclusive trailer is shown below.

The film’s starting point is a terrible accident: Tito, a stray cat adopted by Celesia, falls from the eighth floor, and is paralyzed. The filmmaker herself is struggling with invisible scars. Together, they embark on a journey to China, searching for regeneration, both mental and physical.

After her cat was paralyzed, Celesia set out to find a way to heal him. Meeting a French association of paralyzed people working on spinal cord regeneration, she embarked on a journey to China for a clinical trial. The scientific discovery and medical trial patented by the association becomes much more than that for her. It is a metaphor reflecting back to her childhood, to a father who suffers from profound sadness, who she longs to “fix”. In attempting to understand her father’s melancholic state, she defines depression as “paralysis of the soul.”

She deviates from simple reportage about spinal cord surgeries and moves toward that “gentle madness tinged with the humor needed to speak of destiny, healing and hope in universal terms and without heaviness,” she says in her notes on the film.

Celesia describes it as a “contemporary fable.” She adds: “It’s a story of healing, which is ultimately uncertain, since one’s inner wounds are never really healed.”

As well as documenting her cat’s dramatic story, she includes footage from home movies – Super 8 and mini DV films – that provide glimpses of her childhood in a bid to expose “an older wound.” They are complemented by other Super 8 extracts that are reconstructed especially for the film. In the same format, they feature an 8-year-old Celesia and her father, played by actors, to create “a dreamlike mise-en-scène.” She also filmed an EMDR session, a technique developed to treat the deep traumas of war survivors, with her therapist that took her back to a road accident that, she says, “one day turned my life upside down.”

Bojana Maric, head of sales and acquisitions at Lightdox, said: “A showcase of exceptional creative vision and sensitivity, ‘The Mechanics of Things’ is a whirlwind cinematic adventure with multiple layers but ultimately a simple story at heart that is universal: a daughter wishing to heal her father and working on healing herself.”

The film is produced by Jean-Laurent Csinidis of Marseille-based Films de Force Majeure and co-produced with Dirk Manthey of Hamburg-based Dirk Manthey Film.


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