Masters of Dox

The Lion’s Mouth Opens

Lucy Walker
Screening time  
26.02. / Thursday, 20:00 - 22:00 Theatre 2  
“If the results are positive,” Marianne says, “it’s a death sentence. If the results are negative, I’m just like everyone else.”

At the age of 17, Marianne Palka moved to the United States, alone and with just 100 dollars to her name. Fifteen years later, she enters a hospital with the very same degree of courage to find out whether she has the hereditary Huntington’s disease. Even undergoing the tests was an act of bravery: her father has the disease, so Palka has a 50 percent chance of also bearing the gene associated with this terrible condition, sometimes referred to as “Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and ALS in one.” The evening before the results are due, Marianne invites her best friends over and they share this last evening of not knowing. “If the results are positive,” Marianne says, “it’s a death sentence. If the results are negative, I’m just like everyone else.” The title of the film is taken from the poem Bob Dylan wrote after a visit to fellow folk singer Woody Guthrie, who died of the disease.


Lucy Walker

Lucy Walker is a British film director who has twice been nominated for an Academy Award. Her films include feature documentaries The Crash Reel (2013, screened at 2014 ZagrebDox), Waste Land (2010, winner of Audience Award at 2011 ZagrebDox), Countdown to Zero (2010, screened at 2011 ZagrebDox), Blindsight (2006), Devil's Playground (2002) and short films notably The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (2011, screened at 2013 ZagrebDox) and The Lion's Mouth Opens (2014, in this year's ZagrebDox program). Her films have also been nominated for seven Emmys, an Independent Spirit Award, a DGA Award and a Gotham Award and have won over eighty other film awards.

General sponsor

The Lion’s Mouth Opens

2014, 16', HD

Directed by:
Lucy Walker

Nick Higgins

Edited by:
Joe Peeler

Lucy Walker, Marianna Palka, Julian Cautherley

Produced by:
Tree Tree Tree

Festivals & Awards:

Sundance Film Festival 2014; Aspen Shortsfest 2014 – Special Jury Mention; Rincón International Film Festival 2014 – Director's Choice Best Short Documentary; Ashland Independent Film Festival 2014; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2014; True/False Film Fest 2014; Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014; Sydney Film Festival 2014; Palm Springs Shortsfest 2014; Chicago Critics Film Festival 2014; Rooftop Films 2014; MountainFilm in Telluride 2014; Nashville Film Festival 2014; Maryland Film Festival 2014; Sun Valley Film Festival 2014; Napa Valley Film Festival 2014; Seattle International Film Festival 2014; Focus Film Festival 2014; Los Angeles Film Festival 2014; Vancouver International Film Festival 2014; AFI DOCS 2014; Provincetown International Film Festival; Tacoma Film Festival; Traverse City Film Festival