Homo Sapiens is a film about the finiteness and fragility of human existence and the end of the industrial age, and what it means to consider what human impact on the world looks like once were gone. What will remain of our lives? Empty spaces, ruins, cities increasingly overgrown with vegetation, crumbling asphalt, rain-soaked server rooms: the areas we currently inhabit, though humanity has disappeared. Now abandoned and decaying, gradually reclaimed by nature after being taken from it so long ago.
All these locations carry the traces of erstwhile human existence and bear witness to a civilization that brought forth architecture, art, the entertainment and sports industries, technologies, ideologies, wars and environmental disasters. It intends to sharpen our eyes for the here and now, and our consciousness of the present; in precisely framed wide shots, Nikolaus Geyrhalters static camera shows us the present post-apocalypse. There are no people in his film, and yet as the title pointedly suggests he has his eye on nothing less than the future of humanity.
Courtney Sheehan, Northwest Film Forums Executive Director, interviewed Nikolaus Geyrhalter at the Berlinale Film Festival earlier this year:
Courtney: What do you think about the idea of dystopia? There is this entire canon of images, art and literature that imagines the dystopic sci-fi future. Do you feel connected to that canon?
Geyrhalter: This is the documentary answer to it. All of this literature or these films create the rooms without the people. But we really filmed them in the present. This is whats different, and this is why its still more documentary than anything else. The locations exist and we could film them. You could say its happening already.
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