DOK Leipzig 28 October – 3 November 2019
62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
DOK Leipzig Film Festival

Farewell Essay

Farewell Essay

Conversations in a veterinarian’s waiting room: Liza, director Macarena Albalustri’s over-ten-year-old cat, doesn’t eat any more. The imminent death of a beloved pet evokes memories of another loss, that of her mother, who died ten years ago and whom Albalustri hardly remembers. As she is coping with the grief over her cat, buried feelings and questions are uncovered again, an emotional search begins. Using photos, letters and objects from her childhood, the director tries to re-awaken memories – in herself and in others. She talks to persons who were close to her mother, to the latter’s friends and her father. She even manages to find the psychotherapist consulted by her mother at the time. The conversations are always about coping with loss, dying and one’s own death. It’s a very intimate film essay about saying farewell, about developing rituals and personal forms of mourning which everyone has to find and invent for themselves to deal with the pain of farewell.

Frederik Lang


Original Title: Ensayo de despedida
Country: Argentina
Year: 2016
Language: Spanish
Subtitle: English
Runtime: 79 min.
Format: DCP
Color: Colour
Director: Macarena Albalustri
Producer: Macarena Albalustri, Tomás Dotta
Cinematographer: Tebbe Schöningh
Editor: Iara Rodríguez Vilardebó
Music: Odín Schwartz
Sound: Sofía Straface, Lucas Larriera
Script: Macarena Albalustri, Tomás Dotta

The annotations to the films in the Official Selection were written by the members of the selection committee and guest authors. All quotes from DOK Leipzig 2018 catalogue articles must be identified as such and cite the author's name. All articles where no author’s name is given are production notes.