Screening Dates
  • May 26, 2023 6:30
  • May 29, 2023 8:30
  • June 5, 2023 6:00

One of the top ten films of the year (#2)

Cinema Scope

The latest astonishing work from Sensory Ethnography Lab principals Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Leviathan, Caniba) resumes the duo’s radical experimentations in sensorial, cinematic immersion—this time by venturing inside the human body. Utilizing specially designed microscopic recording devices, De Humani Corporis Fabrica (named after Dutch anatomist Andreas Vesalius’s seminal 16th century text on human anatomy) offers an endoscopic audiovisual tour through the often-abstract inner landscapes of patients undergoing surgery in various Parisian operating rooms. As the camera snakes down labyrinthine entrails and probes squishy, wet caverns alien in appearance, conversations overheard between performing surgeons paint a picture of a healthcare system on the brink of collapse. Gory, sure, but also replete with moments of genuine, revelatory wonderment at how extraordinary our corporeal selves truly are—an unflinching scene of an emergency cesarean moved this programmer to tears—De Humani is another triumph of documentary avant-gardism for Paravel and Castaing-Taylor.

In French with English subtitles

A school of flesh well worth attending … This fascinating and probing look at modern surgery is a memorable experience, making us ponder our own humanity as we watch humans reduced to pure flesh-and-blood organisms.”

Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

De Humani offers a journey into inner space to match Kubrick’s odyssey to outer space … Despite their obvious differences, they arrive at virtually the same point, at the sense that organic existence contains enigmas that no scientific explanation can ever account for.”

Lawrence Garcia, In Review Online

Covers human life from the cradle to the grave—and delves fearlessly into the icky bits in between … You’re not likely to forget [this film].”

Jonathan Romney, Screen International