The Second Life

A feature-length documentary film by Davide Gambino
A co-production with Mon Amour Films, Italy and Take FiveBelgium
Participants of the Documentary Campus Masterschool 2016

World premiere at the DOK.fest München May 2020

With millions of species threatened with extinction, three world-class museum taxidermists prepare for the European Taxidermy Championship, trying to remind us what we are about to lose forever.

The world is at a turning point. Human impact threatens millions of species with extinction - with the dramatic loss of biodiversity endangering the existence of human kind itself. However, there is one obscure profession that is at the forefront of reminding us of what we are about to lose forever: Maurizio, Robert and Christophe are three world-class taxidermists working at the natural history museums of Berlin, Rome and Brussels. Their mission? Giving the animals they prepare a voice to speak out against human kind’s war on nature. Although they have never met, they share the conviction that preserved animals can help to overcome the gap between society and nature. The three are shown preparing for the 2018 European Taxidermy Championships, the most important competition of their careers. While this is the last chance for Maurizio before retiring, Christophe is participating for the first time. For Robert, the title of European Champion is all that’s missing from his collection of international awards. And as the three get ready for the Championship in Salzburg and with their profession becoming increasingly threatened with extinction itself, another voice rises from the dead to give humans one last warning.

Additional information:

Director and author: Davide Gambino
Camera: Dieter Stürmer
Sound Recording: Manuel Ernst, Jule Cramer
Music: Jan Swerts
Editing: Simon Arazi, Christelle Berry

Related links:
Film talk at the premiere at DOK.fest Munich
Museum of Natural History, Berlin

About Davide Gambino