At the margins of a big city somewhere in the south of Europe, a couple takes care of dead animals and abandoned roadkill as an act to give meaning to their life.
KALA and AZAR wake up in their car, off road in the desolate landscape. They put on their uniforms and start with their daily task. This involves the macarbre task of collecting deceased pet animals from their homes and taking them to a pet crematorium, in order to later deliver the ashes to the owners.
The couples’ relationship with death and life is gradually revealed as moving beyond the context of their job. They live in a city riddled with stray animals and occasionally roadkill. During their continuous drives at the outskirts, the couple is in a constant process of scanning the roads for bodies. The couple attempts to redefine the geography of this place by collecting and disposing of the lifeless corpses under their own ritual. They carefully collect the anonymous beings or their remains and later cremate them outside of their job constraints.
Around the same territory, a middle-aged couple lives in the privacy of their home: OLGA surrounded by her dogs, seems to be in a permanent state of contemplation. TASSOS, a retired entomologist, reads scientific and philosophical texts aloud to his dogs. These are Kala’s parents. During the night Tassos discreetly has personal contact with a Pakistani marginalized community, amongst which K., working in the Poultry Factory not far from the house. Progressively, we discover that Tassos and K. organize a concert by a Philharmonic Orchestra, as a tribute to the doomed creatures, on the night before the clutch of chickens will depart from the factory to their final destination.
In this desolate environment, the couples’ stoic perseverance creates a space through which their love grows until the moment they have a car accident; they kill a dog. The intimate interior of the car now incarcerates the characters in a mobile prison.
Kala-a-zar is a meditation on the paradox of life circle among beings of different species. A film about existence, on the boundaries between living and dead, human and non-human.
Supported by the Nederlands Filmfonds and the Mondriaan Foundation.