Director: Romana Caren, Hanspeter Horner
"An unabashed foray into the roots of possessiveness and insecurities through the lens of childhood"
Experimental and freewheeling on surface, Nüt Nothing Nichts Kahich Nahi Nanimonai or Nothing is an Austrian short film by director duo Romana Caren and Hanspeter Horner that turns an unsupervised playtime of four children into an observation on foundational roots of human behaviour.
Little Theo, who can be labelled as the protagonist is going through the age where we start developing a deeply personal sense of self, first manifested through our love for our possessions. As Theo builds a volcano out of sand, the imaginary township around it becomes his own. In his mind, he is the town mayor, loving protector and first citizen. When his older brother "accidentally" destroys the town, Theo is agitated. An argument ensues as he blames his brother for the mass genocide of every imaginary living creature in his imaginary township. Soon, a slight revenge angle is revealed involving certain lego blocks. Their conversation is innocent and unscripted. On the surface its nothing of any peculiar interest to anyone and most people overhearing it would chuckle and walk away without taking away anything profound out of it but directors Romana and Hanspeter linger on. As you watch their conversation unfold, it starts manifesting meaning laden with social commentary about our earliest discoveries of our sense of self by attaching worth to our materialistic possessions.
Nothing is a film that lets you draw your own observations and conclusions from Theo's playtime journey. It's not a conventional narrative and the story it tells is as real as Theo's imaginary township around an active volcano. In the end, all our constructions of self are always within the reach of destruction. This little film does well to remind us of that fact.
Nüt Nothing Nichts Kahich Nahi Nanimonai is currently playing in select film festivals worldwide.