A Second Birthday

„God won’t take the ones who laugh a lot“

Misha is nine years old when the cirrhosis of his liver and his strong malnutrition make a transplant become the only option. During his young life the boy has already come face to face with death several times. He is used to his family’s constant enormous worries, to the long sojourns at hospitals throughout Europe and to a strongly limited life.

But his approach to the big questions of life and death, his self–acquired belief in God and his candid and life-affirming interest to the world, broadly contradict the image of a suffering kid and unveil a conscious and experienced soul in the young body.

Misha’s father follows him from immediate proximity during the months before and after the threatening but life-saving surgical intervention, creating a poetic, intimate and very optimistic portrait.



A documentary film by: Georg Manuel Zeller
Editing: Marzia Mete
Sound design: Stefano Bernardi
32’ ©2016 Italy
supported by:
Südtiroler Landesregierung – Deutsche Schule und Kultur


Trailer of the film


Director’s note

When I learned that my son would soon get a new liver, it was very natural to shoot some moments of our preparation to this adventure. Only a long time after, I had the courage to watch that footage and was very much surprised to discover that it was not about blood and suffering but rather about how to approach life and its uncertainties and limits. This is when I decided to share it by making a short film.

For the curious ones: Misha is suffering from a genetic disease called Cystic Fibrosis. Until now there is no cure, only the symptoms can be treated in order to lenghten life expectancy.