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IDFA - Homo Sapiens

There’s not a soul to be seen in this intriguing sequence of abandoned locations – symbols of our ephemerality.

Despite its title, there isn’t a single human to be seen or heard in this film, with director Nikolaus Geyrhalter presenting a sequence of static shots filmed in Asia, Europe, the United States and South America. But people clearly were present here at some time in the past. We see train tracks just visible among the grass and plants; a store with its contents upturned; a long-obsolete lecture hall; a disused shopping center; a deserted tropical-themed swimming pool; a dead data center; stray boats strewn around a meadow. Here, nature is free to take its course. The absence of music or commentary allows the sounds to emerge even further into the foreground, and we hear water dripping to the floor from a leaking roof, plastic whirling in the air and buzzing insects.

This is about the fragile and ephemeral nature of humanity. What will remain when we are gone?