4 user 14 critic

Animal Love (1996)

Tierische Liebe (original title)
In conurbations where hundreds of thousands live alongside one another, in the era of a highly technological society, in which communication has never played such a significant role, man ... See full summary »


Ulrich Seidl


Ulrich Seidl


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Credited cast:
Ernst Schönmann Ernst Schönmann ... The Man with the Dog
Franz Holzschuh Franz Holzschuh ... Beggar
Erich Wögerer Erich Wögerer ... Beggar
Fritzi Schmied Fritzi Schmied ... Released from prison
Gabi Tairi Gabi Tairi ... A Girlfriend with a Ferret
Christina Yildiz Christina Yildiz ... Divorcing with Pug
Franz Dolesch Franz Dolesch ... Divorcing with Pug
Gerti Zieger Gerti Zieger ... Deserted Wife
Renée Felden Renée Felden ... The Actress with the Husky (as Stefanie Renée Felden)
Peter Kristek Peter Kristek ... Lonely Man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herbert Scholz Herbert Scholz


In conurbations where hundreds of thousands live alongside one another, in the era of a highly technological society, in which communication has never played such a significant role, man has become lonely. Disappointed by his fellow human beings, he turns to animals. Dogs and other domestic animals serve him as companions, life partners, cuddly objects and bedfellows. Written by Austrian Film Commission

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

animal | dog | pet | love | interview | See All (6) »









Release Date:

29 August 1996 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Animal Love See more »

Filming Locations:

Vienna, Austria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lotus Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in That's Sexploitation! (2013) See more »


La donna è mobile
Performed by Mario Lanza
Written by Giuseppe Verdi
BMG Ariola
See more »

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User Reviews

A bizarre documentary - but not Seidl's best
18 April 2006 | by Tristan!-2See all my reviews

"Hundstage" is a masterpiece. This however is not. None of the characters (apart from perhaps the swingers) are particularly nice, but one thing is for sure: as with "Hundstage", these people are really quite bizarre. And there's loads of them.

Most of the characters appear either to be in a troubled relationship, or have recently come out of one. You have the austrochavs with the ferret, two old queens with a violent dog, the swingers (perhaps the most normal and happy relationship in the film), the former sexpot who reminisces over her love letters, a beggar with a rabbit, and a few more other examples from the underbelly of Austrian civilisation - as far from the tearooms of Vienna that we could possibly get. As a documentary, it certainly shows there is this side to Austria that Mozart could never have contemplated, and for that we thank Seidl yet again. But the whole thing could have been executed, well, snappier. There are some very tedious long scenes that are begging for the editor's scissors.

The one thing keeping us watching is probably our own morbid fascination with bestiality. Some of these characters come so close - particularly the sexpot - that we are sure that at one moment or another we will be grossed out by some in-your-face bit of footage that we really didn't want to see. But thankfully this never actually happens (well, not on-camera in any case, although we know for sure that it is going to happen in at least two of the segments). In fact, the only sex we see is human, a tasteful shag between the two swingers who, as I said, are probably the most "normal" and likable characters in the film. And they do not appear to be as over-the-top about their pets as the other characters are: preferring instead to devote time to one another, and to their extramarital but consensual affairs.

Could Seidl in fact be making a point here? That if you love your pets too much, you are clearly unhinged? Or is he saying that by failing to have fulfilling relationships (with humans) we are in fact caging ourselves, turning ourselves into pets, making the real pets to only ones we can relate to (and the swingers in this case being the ones who are doing something more fulfilling with their lives, by experimenting sexually with other humans and with themselves rather than on their animals)? Or is just a documentary about Austrian losers and their pets? Who knows. It's not a great film, and it gets a little tedious in the middle, but it's not the worst I've seen either.

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