Coming to theatres this Friday, July 29: HOMO SAPIENS
Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s catalogue of ruin and reclamation debuted at Berlin earlier this year. Screenings followed at Cinéma du Réel, Honk Kong, BAFICI, Docville, DOK.fest Munich, Docs Against Gravity, and DocAviv, among other events.
Like his earlier work, Geyrhalter’s latest is a stunningly composed series of tableaux, focusing on sites that once were inhabited by the titular species but now are apparently abandoned, left to nature to reassert its dominance. Schools, hospitals, movie theatres, military bunkers, churches, office buildings, shopping malls, and amusement parks, apparently from all around the world – the film never identifies locations, and is absent any dialogue or commentary – are presented, showing signs of past use, but now in a decayed state. The effect on the viewer is mesmerizing and contemplative, affording space to consider the impact of mankind on the natural world, and, as if offering an opportunity of time travel to some post-apocalyptic era, what will likely remain when we’re gone.