By Sander BLOM


Drama - Pre-Production 2011

An exploration of Life’s Manual. On how to survive the boredom of paradise, penile shrinkage, treacherous breakfasts. And much more.

    • Year of production
    • 2011
    • Genres
    • Drama, Documentary, Black comedy
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 80 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Sander BLOM
    • Writer(s)
    • Sander BLOM
    • Producer(s)
    • Koert DAVIDSE (seriousFilm), Marc THELOSEN (seriousFilm), Yan Ting YUEN
    • Synopsis
    • The subject of Ataraxia (Poodle Shaving for the Blind) is the question of ‘how to live’. The thread in the story is a mythical-like printing establishment where manuals for any conceivable problem are manufactured. No matter how private the issues may be, there is a brochure for each and everyone. ‘How to raise my dog’, ‘Wie unterhalte ich mich mit meine Litauischen Gäste nachdem ich schon einige malen gefragt habe ob die nicht besser ins Hotel gehen könnten?’, ‘Lost house keys: where to look?’, ‘Le sauvetage des noyés’, ‘Poodle shaving for the blind’, and so on and so forth.
      Through the brochures we get to the questions that may bother a person:
      • a wasp tells how, after having enjoyed the delicacies in people’s living rooms, the way out is all but guaranteed. The idea of window glass is unknown to it;
      • a British scientist researches the correlation between tolling bells and being able to recite awkward rhymes;
      • a Chinese gentleman thinks that the shrinking of his penis will lead to his death;
      • a Papua community sees the hand of the gods in the distribution of Western goods. A seductive female airplane could secure their prosperity;
      • in the bourgeois paradise all is well. This turns out to be too sickly for words;
      • not all questions are visible – the heads in a Dutch street may contain grim realms of thought.
      Style and atmosphere of the scenes differ strongly; this is not a gimmick, but an expression of the notion ‘it all depends on your point of view’.
      Qualitative judgements have a limited validity, the perspective of the viewer is leading. There are situations that will cause insurmountable problems for some people while others won’t even recognize these as problems at all. Likewise, others will have the greatest difficulty in understanding our dilemmas.
      The message of the film: if you are prepared to put yourself in someone else’s place, this may lead to a pleasantly different perspective on your own thinking.
    • Partners & financing
    • Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation, the Netherlands Film Fund, Rotterdam Media Fund, CoBO Fund, Dutch Mediafund