Austria 2016, 94 min, No Dialogue, No Subtitles
Human beings are absent from Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s remarkable film, leaving the audience with a powerful feeling, part panic and part comfort. In his visits to hundreds of sites around the world, the highly regarded Austrian director focuses on stunning but disturbing footage, accompanied by no explanation but the sounds of nature. We see power stations, playgrounds, prisons, temples, offices, operating theaters, train stations, swimming pools, malls, airports, and a parking lot for tanks, all of them abandoned and left in silence, without a single human word to interrupt our thoughts. Wind, rain, sandstorms, snow, waves, tangled vegetation, and even rays of light penetrating slits in the walls that once kept them out, gradually erase the human presence, which we thought changed the world. The audience is left with an apocalyptic feeling, combined with sheer admiration for Nature’s tenacity.
Previous Festivals: Berlinale, Cinema Du Reel, Hong Kong IFF, Buenos Aires Bafici, Dokfest München