Shot in the village of Oliveto Lucano in the south of Italy, Autotrofia is simultaneously a documentation of a very ancient pagan fertility ritual that is still practiced in this region, and scripted fiction, based on writings by the painter Vassily Chekrygin and the scientist Vladimir Vernadsky. The scripted content of the film explores the ecological dimension of Russian Cosmism: a desire to transform and evolve in such a way that humans would not need to kill and consume any other living organism in order to produce the energy necessary for living, and instead learn from green plants how to generate nutrition directly from the sun. This idea, first developed at the turn of the 20th century, is juxtaposed with an older, pagan celebration of King Oak and King Holly: a harvest festival in which two trees that represent summer and winter are joint into one supernaturally tall tree, completing and connecting the seasonal cycle created by the orbit of our planet around the sun. (Anton Vidokle)
by Anton Vidokle
with Muna Mussie, Alessandro Magania, Kasia Wolinska, Fabio Cipriano Romano, Simone Lanari
Italy 2020 Italian 31’ Colour

Part of the Berlinale Summer Special


  • Muna Mussie
  • Alessandro Magania
  • Kasia Wolinska
  • Fabio Cipriano Romano
  • Simone Lanari


Written and Directed by Anton Vidokle
Cinematography Ayman Nahle
Editing Ayman Nahle, Hinda Weiss, Anton Vidokle
Music Alva Noto
Sound Design Eli Cohn
Sound Nocturnal Sound
Costumes Comune di Satriano di Lucania
Assistant Director Giuseppe Barletta
Production Manager Ivan Buttiglieri
Producer Francesca Andriani
Executive Producer 10D film

Produced by

10D film

Anton Vidokle

Anton Vidokle, born in 1965 in Moscow, Russia, is an artist and editor of e-flux journal. He lives in New York and Berlin. His work has been exhibited internationally at museums, art institutions, and biennials and screened at film festivals.


2002 Salto de Agua 2003 Nuevo 2010 Guiding Light; with Liam Gillick, 21 min. · New York Conversations; 64 min. 2012 Two Suns; with Hu Fang, 24 min. 2014 2084: A Science Fiction Show/Episode 1; with Pelin Tan, 68 min. · This Is Cosmos; 31 min., Forum Expanded 2015 2015 A Museum of Immortality; 26 min. · The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun; 33 min., Forum Expanded 2016 2017 Immortality for All: a film trilogy on Russian Cosmism,; 96 min. 2019 A I O U; with Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, 30 min., Forum Expanded 2020 · Citizens of the Cosmos; 30 min., Forum Expanded 2020 2020 Autotrofia

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021