Screened as part of NZIFF 2013

The Strange Little Cat 2013

Das merkwürdige Kätzchen

Directed by Ramon Zurcher

This deft, lightly surreal comedy observes a family going about their domestic business. “There’s a strange music to this light-on-its-toes, rhythmic, and ultimately mesmerizing chamber piece.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian

Germany In German with English subtitles
72 minutes Blu-ray

Director, Screenplay, Editor


Silvan Zürcher
Johanna Bergel


Alexander Haßkerl

Production designers

Matthias Werner
Sabine Kassebaum

Costume designer

Dorothée Bach


Benjamin Kalisch


Thee More Shallows
Stephane Leonard


Jenny Schily (mother)
Anjorka Strechel (Karin)
Mia Kasalo (Clara)
Luk Pfaff (Simon)
Matthias Dittmer (father)
Armin Marewski (uncle)


Berlin, San Francisco 2013


The airy vagueness and habitual domestic eccentricities of a middle-class family are choreographed into a lightly surreal perpetuum mobile in this arresting first feature. A seamless ensemble piece staged in the connecting rooms of a small Berlin apartment, it is minimalist in scale but wonderfully nimble in execution. The neighbour has come over to fix the washing machine. Grandma is coming for dinner. Teenage siblings jostle while their baby sister conducts squealing competitions with every electrical appliance in the house. A bottle spins for no apparent reason and the cat is just there. The absurdist funniness is touched with eeriness: it holds you without exactly making you laugh out loud. (There’s a challenge.) “A droll, eventually poignant ballet of domestic discontent. Its seemingly wisp-thin ‘plot’ may confound encapsulation, yet its sum impact defies expectations.” — Dennis Harvey, San Francisco International Film Festival