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From the KimStim Collection
Homo Sapiens
A film by Nikolaus Geyrhalter
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film stillHOMO SAPIENS is a film about the finiteness and fragility of human existence and the end of the industrial age, and what it means to be a human being.

What will remain of our lives after we're gone? Empty spaces, ruins, cities increasingly overgrown with vegetation, crumbling asphalt: the areas we currently inhabit, though humanity has disappeared. Now abandoned and decaying, gradually reclaimed by nature after being taken from it so long ago. HOMO SAPIENS is an ode to humanity as seen from a possible future scenario.

"Nikolaus Geyrhalter's fantastical HOMO SAPIENS depicts a disquieting scenario whereby the world made by people is slowly won back by nature: it is science fiction and documentary in equal measure, equal parts contemporary and post-apocalyptic."Berlinale Forum

"Festivals like Berlin help to remind us what pictures can accomplish, whether that means taking an incredibly populist subject and re-contextualizing it for an elite arthouse audience, as Austrian helmer Nikolaus Geyrhalter does by revisiting the now-alien landscapes of abandoned cinemas, shopping malls and sports arenas in HOMO SAPIENS."Variety

"An aesthetically austere catalog of contemporary ruin. ... Similar in form to the director's previous nonfiction studies (OUR DAILY BREAD, OVER THE YEARS), this wordless assemblage of fixed shots is as much a museum piece as it is a strictly art-house item, inviting viewers to sit back and let the imagery consume them. Far from commercial, it's still a compelling modern study of man vs. nature, with the latter clearly getting the upper hand."Hollywood Reporter

"Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter's beautifully bleak documentary HOMO SAPIENS is a wordless collection of empty, abandoned, man-made structures (churches, malls, schools, military bases, and nuclear reactors, to name a few). The undoctored subjects, from Fukushima to parts of the U.S., Europe, and South America, reveal a stark landscape of decrepitude slowly being reclaimed by nature's obstinate ability to regenerate itself. If great art takes facts and refracts them into multiple truths, then the Berlinale is host to a myriad of glittering prisms."Observer

"As intriguing as it is overwhelming."BAFICI Festival, Buenos Aires

"A gloriously beautiful documentary of an unimagined future."Hong Kong Film Festival

"Nikolaus Geyrhalter's films are also called film poems. He does not go for a quick information round, but chooses a quiet rhythm and a poetic rather than narrative approach that offers space for reflection. ... Thanks to the distant, recording attitude of the director, the scenes have an almost unearthly, weird, abstract beauty."DOCVILLE Festival, Belgium

2016 Berlinale Forum
2016 Cinéma du Réel
2016 Hong Kong International Film Festival
2016 Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival
2016 Docville International Documentary Film Festival
2016 Subversive Film Festival
2016 Filmkunstfest Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
2016 DOK.fest München
2016 Docs Against Gravity Film Festival
2016 Docaviv International Film Festival
2016 Bildrausch Filmfest Basel

94 minutes / color
No dialogue
Release: 2016
Copyright: 2016
DVD Sale: $29.99

This DVD is sold above for home video use only. If you require a license for institutional use or Public Performance rights, click here.

Subject areas:
Architecture, Cinema Studies, Environment, KimStim Collection, Urban Studies

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Last Updated July 5, 2016
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