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Still De Humani Corporis Fabrica

De Humani Corporis Fabrica

Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor / FR, US, CH, 2022 / 115 min.

Following in the footsteps of Andreas Vesalius, who five centuries ago was the first to map human anatomy, this sensorial film explores the bodies of men and women during operations on various parts of the body. Intimate, at a microscopic level.

poster IDFA 2022

In 1543, the Brussels-born physician Andreas Vesalius mapped in detail the human body in his seven-volume De humani corporis fabrica. Now, anthropologist-filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel have followed in his footsteps. The pair work with the prestigious Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, and previously made the intensely sensorial documentaries Leviathan (about ocean fishing) and Caniba (about a Japanese cannibal). Their latest film likewise delivers a deeply physical viewing experience.

From our viewpoint above hospital operating tables, we see doctors and nurses talking about white blood cells, work pressure, and plans for the weekend. The camera, meanwhile, dives through a variety of entryways into the bodies of their patients. These scenes alternate with shots of the innards of another kind of body: the corridors and tunnels of the five hospitals in Paris where the documentary is set. Horror and humor converge in this anatomy lesson with a microscopic level of intimacy.

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Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

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115 min.



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IDFA 2022

Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 20 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 35th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.

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