Framed by two stories, this feature documentary fable Peace with Seals deals with the concept of "human nature". The first story is about a seal named Gaston who, according to the Prague Zoo director, became "the most famous animal on earth" after he managed to reach Germany during a devastating flood. At the height of his fame, Gaston was adopted by the former Prime Minister Gross; after Gaston's death, the Prague Zoo erected a statue in his memory. The second story took place 50 years earlier and tells the life story of a seal named Ulysses, caught in Sardinia by a Milan photojournalist who, in front of the cameras, tossed the animal into the famous Di Trevi fountain. Patellani - a friend of Federico Fellini's and a specialist on film stars - was fined for his action. The reason, however, was not the killing of a baby seal but the pollution of water in the fountain. Fellini took inspiration from the story for "La Dolce Vita"; referring to photojournalists such as Patellani, he coined the term "paparazzi", i.e. those who create the "nature" of contemporary man. What changes mark our relationship with animals? Today there are urban nature reserves, aquariums instead of oceans, and seal hunting can be booked with a travel agent. In the time of Homer, seals were the most widespread inhabitant of Europe's largest biotope, the Mediterranean Sea. Today, with sun tanning being so fashionable, people have replaced the seals on the beaches. Seals have become one of the most endangered mammals in Europe. Where will we be able to encounter wild animals in the future? How are animals being domesticated? And what is the domestication of people?
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.