Ten-year-old Nicolas lives with his mother in a small village on a remote rocky island. The landscape is surreal and the boy spends his time diving between psychedelic plants and marine animals. But the barren island is full of secrets. Only sinister women live there, and boys of his age who are regularly subjected to medical treatments and bizarre operations. Nicolas’ distrust is soon awakened. One night, in search of answers to his many questions, he watches the women perform a mysterious ritual on the beach. What he discovers is like a nightmare.
With beguilingly beautiful underwater scenes, visionary director Hadžihalilović transports us into another world full of motifs from our collective memory: water stands for evolution, for the origin of life. The French word for »sea« − la mer / la mère − can mean both »ocean« and »mother« and is symbolic here of the amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb, from which some adolescents have trouble detaching themselves.
The director became interested in science fiction at the age of twelve and soon discovered horror author H.P. Lovecraft, whose fascination with strange landscapes, hidden mysticism and gigantic tentacled creatures is spectacularly reflected in Evolution. Dream and mystery also play a key role in Hadžihalilović’s films. The naturalistic yet fantastical setting, for example, is inspired by the Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico, the key representative of metaphysical art. A fascinating blend of visual poem and body horror, coming-of-age narrative and dystopian thriller. (SH)
Film Series Kaleidoscorpse
Awards for ›Evolution‹
Special Prize of the Jury & Best Cinematography – San Sebastián International Film Festival 2015 | Best Cinematography Stockholm Film Festival 2015 | Best Film – The WIFTS Foundation International Advisory Awards 2015 | Special Mention of the Jury – Titanic International Film Festival, Budapest 2016
Lucile Hadžihalilović first studied art history and then graduated from the Paris Film Academy IDHEC (now La Fémis). Her debut film La Bouche de Jean-Pierre premiered in 1996 in the »Un Certain Regard« series at the Cannes International Film Festival. In 2004, her mystery drama Innocence with Marion Cotillard won the prize for best film in San Sebastián and her horror film Evolution won the jury’s special prize there in 2015. She makes shorts as well as feature films.
Films by Lucile Hadžihalilović
De Natura (Short) 2017 | Evolution 2015 | Nectar (Short) | 2014 Innocence | 2004 Good Boys Use Condoms 1998 | La bouche de Jean-Pierre 1996 | La premiere mort de Nono 1987