A severely alcoholic man gains hope for his life when he receives a call from his estranged daughter. He lies to her about being fine and the two arrange to meet for dinner. Now under time pressure, he decides to cover up his alcohol consumption and tidy up his apartment, when suddenly, out of the blue, a duck appears on his couch and refuses to be scared away.

  • Pablo Knote
    The Lower Depths
  • Pablo Knote
    The Lower Depths
  • Philip Malewicz
    The Lower Depths
  • German Gorst
    Key Cast
    "The Man"
  • Daniel Warland
    Key Cast
    "The Boy"
    The Lower Depths
  • Melissa Breitenbach
    Key Cast
    "The Daughter"
  • Aragorn the duck
    Key Cast
    "The Duck"
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Feature, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 6, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, ARRI Alexa, ProRes 4444
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - ifs international filmschool cologne
Director Biography - Pablo Knote

Born in Munich in 1994, grew up around lake Ammersee. An avid comic artist and film fan since child-hood. Studied Japanese studies for several semesters after graduating from high school. Since 2011, freelance film historian and researcher of classic Japanese cinema with publications at numerous English and German-language websites. Since 2017, student (focus: film director) at the ifs international film school in Cologne.

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Director Statement

The German word "Flattermann" describes a state of inner restlessness and excitement. For an alcoholic, it is a symptom of his illness: The irrational feeling of impending doom, of insatiable nervousness, when he is unable to relieve his addictive pressure by consuming alcohol. Taken literally, the title is comprised of the words "flutter" as in the fluttering of wings and "man" and thus this winged word represents the three pillars on which this short film is built: The trinity of our protagonist, his struggle with alcoholism and the duck, which suddenly flutters into his barren apartment as a symbol for his problem and turns his plans to spent the evening with his estranged daughter upside down.

It was very important to us to meet the alcoholic protagonist at eye level. Instead of simply depicting his illness by showing him consuming alcohol, we tried to describe the dynamics behind an addiction and the inner compulsions of a person affected by it. In essence, we were concerned with the fatal cycle of hope and despair that every alcoholic knows all too well. The desperation after another night of drinking and the returning feelings of ease after the first sip the next morning, deceptively hoping and saying to yourself, "Tomorrow I will stop drinking“, and continuing drinking regardless. The next day despair returns and the cycle repeats itself.

Thus, just as the mysterious duck that has settled down in our protagonist's living room cannot be chased away, he will not beat his alcoholism as long as he does not admit his illness. Alcohol and with it the duck will always find their way back inside his home until he understands that the path to healing inevitably leads through the admittance of one's problem.