Nikolaus Geyrhalter / AT, 2016 / 94 min.
There’s not a soul to be seen in this intriguing sequence of abandoned locations. Through long, static shots the film confronts us with the vulnerable and ephemeral nature of our existence.
Despite its title, there isn’t a single human to be seen or heard in this film; instead, director Nikolaus Geyrhalter presents 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 barely visible among the grass and plants; a store with its contents in disarray; 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 has been freed to take its course.
The absence of music or commentary allows the sounds to emerge more emphatically into the foreground, and we hear water dripping to the floor from a leaking roof, plastic whirling in the air, and buzzing insects. A film about the fragile and ephemeral nature of humanity. What will remain when we are gone?
Documentary lovers, keep November 17 to 28 free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 34th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programs in Eye.