The Mechanics of Things:

The documentary film “The Mechanics of Things” (original title: “La Mécanique des choses“, German title: “Die Mechanik der Dinge“) by Alessandra Celesia tells the tragic story of an Italian filmmaker’s stray cat that falls from the eighth floor, triggering events that reach as far as China and affect the filmmaker to her very core.


It was a minor miracle that her cat Tito survived the fall from the eighth floor, paralysed but with the will to survive of a cat that had spent years on the street, but Italian filmmaker Alessandra Celesia would never have dreamed of what this triggered, and this is what the film “The Mechanics of Things” is about. It is the mechanics of things that she shows in this film, through which her own very personal story is intertwined with the world’s first spinal cord transplant using an artificial spinal cord (neurogel).

Will my cat ever be able to walk again? Will we ever be able to walk again? This is the question that every paraplegic asks themselves. The film follows six paraplegic French women who volunteered for a clinical trial in China and Tito the cat on their journey to China, where they will receive artificial spinal cord transplants (neurogel).

The fall of her cat also confronts the filmmaker with her own history. With experiences that reach deep into her childhood and which she allows the audience to participate in coming to terms with.

The Mechanics of Things” is a filmmaker’s journey in search of healing, during which she must learn to accept that there are things that cannot be restored and things that we can restore.

The film was supported by: Eurimages, Région Sud (dev. & prod.), Film Fund – Fondazione Film Commission Vallée d’Aoste, CNC – Fonds d’aide à l’innovation, arte/ZDF, Regionalfonds Hamburg, Ciclic (dev.) PROCIREP, Société des producteurs and ANGOA.

Original title: La Mécanique des choses

Script & director: Alessandra Celesia

Producer: Jean-Laurent Csinidis; Dirk Manthey

Cinematography: François Chambe

Sound: Marilou Cuffini-Fabre

Post-production coordinator: Nora Bertone


Production companies: Les Films de Force Majeure, Dirk Manthey Film

Year of production: 2023

Genre: Documentary

Countries: France, Germany

Language: Italian

Subtitles: German, English, French


Lenght: ca. 102 Min.

Rating: FSK 12 (requested)

Aspect ratio / resolution: 16:9 / 1998×1080

DCP: DCI 2K F-178

Sound: Stereo

Film label: NONFY Documentaries

Distribition in Germany, Austria & Switzerland: UCM.ONE


Theatrical start: April 05, 2024

About Alessandra Celesia

Alessandra Celesia is an Italian director who lives between Paris and Belfast. After studying modern literature and theatre, she made the documentary “Luntano” in 2006, her first collaboration with Michel David (Zeugma Films). In 2011, she made “The Bookseller of Belfast“, a co-production with arte.

In 2013, “Anatomia del miracolo” premiered at the Cinéma du Réel. “Anatomia del miracolo” was honoured with anÉtoile de laScam in 2017.

Her latest film “The Flats“, which was made with the support of Eurimages, Région Sud, CNC FAI, Screen Ireland, CCA de la Fédération-Wallonie-Bruxelles, MEDIA, BFI Doc Society, Northern Ireland Screen, RTBF and Scam, won theCPH:DOX Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Copenhagen in 2024 (DOX:AWARD).

Filmography (selection)

2024 The Flats, documentary, 114 Min
2023 The Mechanics of Things, documentary, 102 Min
Come il bianco, short film, 19 Min
2017 Anatomia del miracolo, documentary, 83 Min
La visite – Le théâtre national de Chaillot, hort film, 16 Min
A Time to Dance, documentary, 55 Min
Mirage à l’italienne, documentary, 90 Min
2011 Der Buchhändler von Belfast, medium length film, 54 Min
89, avenue de Flandres, short film, 19 Min
Loin, Dokumentarfilm, medium length film, 52 Min
Orti, short film, 27 Min

About producer Dirk Manthey

Dirk Manthey Film (DMF) was founded in 2000 by Dirk Manthey and is based in Hamburg, Germany. Since then, DMF has produced a variety of films, both feature films and documentaries. Since its inception, DMF has focussed on international co-productions, both in Europe and Latin America, with which a strong network has been built, allowing DMF to develop an understanding of many cultural and industry specificities. In addition to its activities as a production company, “Dirk Manthey Film / Dirk Manthey” has also taken on the executive production and post-production supervision of big budget feature films and documentaries in recent years.

The company focuses on the development and production of national and international documentary films that have both social and artistic relevance. Its aim is to tell stories that touch the audience on a deeper level and reach beyond the screen. The strong presence of the films developed and produced by him at renowned German and international film festivals and their great resonance prove the great demand for films with a strong voice and attitude of their own.

Cinema trailer

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