Nikolaus Geyrhalter: Homo Sapiens

“HOMO SAPIENS” is disturbing and fascinating fresco of the planet, an authentic futuristic vision of one of the great masters. Nikolaus Geyrhalter is one of the pioneers of modern documentary, who introduced documentaries into the sphere of post-apocalyptic visions with his early masterfully work “Pripyat”, and created one of the most impressive views of the world as a whole in his richly developed film “Elsewhere”. “HOMO SAPIENS” combines these essential topics and with the approach of a mature master introduces us to a purified essay of a superb style. Fully visual, without a word, with almost composed sound interventions, “HOMO SAPIENS” reveals on the big screen highly aestheticized scenes, which deeply engrave in the minds of viewers.

“HOMO SAPIENS” is a film about the fragility of human existence and the end of the industrial age, and about what it means to be a human being. What will be the traces of the species we call Homo sapiens, and to which we belong? Empty spaces, ruins, cities increasingly overgrown with vegetation, dilapidated asphalt: spaces that we currently inhabit, when people are not in them anymore. Now abandoned and in decay, gradually taken by nature, from which they were taken not long ago. “HOMO SAPIENS” is an ode to humanity seen through a possible scenario for the future.

About this great work Geyrhalter says: “This is not the first film in which I construct the narrative only through images. This is only the first in which there are no people. “HOMO SAPIENS” is perhaps the most photographic of all my films… For me it is a vision much closer to fiction.”

Austria, 2016, 94 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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