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IDFA 2023 Metamorphosis 1


, 0 / 117 min.

An extraordinary combination of nature documentary, costume drama and art project about the life and work of naturalist and illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), known for her study of the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies.

poster IDFA 2023

In Metamorphosis, filmmaker and media artist Pim Zwier chooses a highly original form to depict the life and work of the German artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), whose study of insects laid the foundations of entomology. Her most important work revolved around the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies: she recorded the process in beautiful prints and engravings and was the first to draw the insects in combination with the plant on which they live. Zwier subtly sets 17th-century drawings and paintings in motion. He also uses actors (including Carly Wijs, Sieger Sloot and Pierre Bokma) to bring historical sources to life. His own observations play a central role: for Metamorphosis, originally a photography project, Zwier started breeding caterpillars himself to document their pupation in close-up. The film includes stunning footage of the process. This combination of nature documentary, costume drama and art project offers a fascinating insight into Merian’s adventurous life, as well as into one of nature’s most mysterious metamorphoses.

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IDFA 2023

Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 19 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 36th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.

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IDFA 2023 Metamorphosis 2
IDFA 2023 Metamorphosis 3
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