Homo Sapiens: “A meticulous, meditated film”

By Sequoia Sinclair | Staff Writer

“Homo Sapiens” is a very meticulous, meditated film composed by director Nikolaus Geyrhalter. This non-conventional piece of work exposes its viewers through a series of desolate human-made structure where nature occupies its vacancy.

We are encouraged to create our own narrative – void of narration or music.

As I sit in the Maxwell Theater, the film delivers like a virtual art gallery or museum. The frames last at least 30 seconds each, which is not what the fast-paced viewers are used to. This technique alone makes humans confront their normative lives and slows down the pace. In return, it leads us to reflect on tantalizing questions.

Despite the irony of abandoned structures and the title, Geyrhalter says this film “very powerfully portrays [the] moment. By being so radically absent, human beings are all the more present. In that sense it is a film about people even though they are not there.”

This statement rings true because the film is a statement of what humans have done and what they leave behind. There is no need for dialogue when a human made structure can stand alone as a reference to human existence.

For me, the film was a poem. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” continued to creep through my thoughts with each changing frame.

Lines 11 and 12 specifically says, “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair! / Nothing beside remains…”

This addresses the desire for humans to seek immortality through structures or art, but in actuality, we only provide a vessel for nature to prevail.

The imagery in “Homo Sapiens” supports this claim.

Contact Sequoia Sinclair at sesinclair@augusta.edu.

Published on November 7, 2016 in Vol. 59, Issue 2 of The Bell Ringer newspaper.

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