De Humani Corporis Fabrica
Véréna PARAVEL and Lucien CASTAING-TAYLOR France, USA, Switzerland 115 mins R21 (Mature Content) Southeast Asian Premiere
An immersive, visceral journey through the structures and pathologies of human and medical bodies in the 21st century.
This experimental documentary presents the body as it has never been seen in cinema. Using state-of-the-art medical imaging devices, the film descends into the depths of suffering bodies in surgery, reaping images of such startling intimacy and abstraction as to evoke both beauty and horror. Meanwhile, on the soundtrack, the surgeons’ shockingly irreverent chatter reorients us towards other bodies in crisis: their own, whose gruelling yet god-like work exacts a spiritual cost, as well as an overworked and underpaid medical body. As other scenes take us through delivery rooms, morgues, Dionysian rec rooms and underground passages, the body emerges as a site of constitutive dysfunction, where the sacred and profane intertwine.
Lucien CASTAING-TAYLOR and Véréna PARAVEL
Anthropologists and visual artists Lucien CASTAING-TAYLOR and Véréna PARAVEL are collaborators at Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab. Their groundbreaking documentary Leviathan (2012) won the FIPRESCI Prize at Locarno and the New Vision Award at CPH:DOX. De Humani Corporis Fabrica premiered at Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight section.