This 22-minute silent movie, seen as a classic of its genre, is a documentary produced in 1947 by the photographer/filmmaker Alexandr Hackenschmied (1907-2004) and avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren (1917-1961), who were married at the time. It shows a bit of the life of their two cats (“she” and “he”), including their production of a litter of five kittens.
I’ve put up a version with musical background (songs below):
Some background from Fandor:
Toward the end of their marriage, filmmakers Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid collaborated on the remarkable short THE PRIVATE LIVE OF A CAT. As the film’s furry protagonists, identified only as “She” and “He,” gave birth to a litter of kittens (a process recorded in the film in full though without sound), Deren and Hammid captured their sly, sidelong glances, their cuddles and licks, their resourcefulness and their casual, curious mannerisms. The filmmakers both adored cats and their admiration and affection for the creatures is evident here; their feline subjects occupy nearly every frame of the film, which was shot over the course of four weeks. The filmmakers themselves never appear in this piece; the world they created is inhabited by the animals alone. Here, Deren and Hammid exist only in the objects in their apartment; in the film’s sparse intertitles; in the appearance of the occasional saucer of milk; and in the presence of the camera. “One of the finest films that has ever been made,” said filmmaker Stan Brakhage of PRIVATE LIFE, a work that’s a character study, a work of cinematic anthropology, a narrative, a documentary, part drama and, perhaps above all, a romance. – Livia Bloom
The music (chosen and mixed by Mark M. Bravura)
The soothing, simply beautiful 3 song soundtrack was originally composed and performed by Tina E. Andrus-
Track #1- “Loulong Hamina”
Track #2- “Bamba Night Flute”
Track #3- “Banish Misfortune Flute Ladies”
Four white kittens and one tabby!