Homo Sapiens Is a Current Day Post Apocalyptic Wake Up Call

Homo Sapiens Is a Current Day Post Apocalyptic Wake Up Call

Truth be told – There isn’t much here to tell. Guy sneaks into abandoned locations, mounts a tripod, and shoots a minute or two of footage. Done. Oh, whoops, spoiler alert – if you don’t want me to ruin this movie for you, don’t read that last sentence. Because, yeah, that’s what it is.

That is exactly what Austrian film maker Nikolaus Geyrhalter has done. Geyrhalter, documentary film maker that crafted Our Daily Bread, which was a full tilt study of the American mechanized abattoirized (yeah, I just did that, so?) food production system. He has a knack for letting the lens speak for itself. And he’s done that again here with Homo Sapiens. Here instead of automated animal death in our food processing centers, we are greeted with abandonment. These are long, all but still shots, of the various things that we have created, built, and then abandoned. Geyrhalter has left no stone unturned as he hunts down the prime of all abandoned locations.

This movie reminds me of an art show of abandonment put on by Christian Richter. I happened to have the privilege of interviewing him and discussing his skill of finding these amazing locations and it definitely was a lot of work researching them and then plotting a way in.  I’m certain that Geyrhalter had to be conscious of doing exactly the same thing in order to find these pristine (in the destructive sense of the word) locations. It almost began to be a game for me as I tried to guess where each one originated from. Oh, There is Fukushima and Nagaski for sure!! Here, here are a few of the shots that stood out to me:

One of the first things that really got me when staring at these images was the sound. Geyrhalter actually shot these segments and then laid in the sound after the fact. Which gave each of these videos a haunted sort of feel, like as if nature had taken over the entire world. The wind rustling papers in this shot. That door blowing open and closed. The dripping rain splashing down in the puddles on the street. It’s as if we are awaiting the zombies that are obviously sitting just outside of the frame to wobble their way in as the movie really begins. But alas, and alack, there are no zombies in this film. And there aren’t any humans either.

And while there is no plot here, it is a movie not lacking in statements and proclamations. While there are no protagonists, we definitely have a film filled with antagonists… that is for sure. See what I did there? Sure, there is no denouement, no climax or resolution… but there definitely is a statement of conflict and a serious problem being espoused.

You know what this movie reminds me of? This, it reminds me of this:

Pro tip? At the 1:07 mark, Yoda and Obi-wan make an appearance!! hahahah. I even created one a couple years ago of Hoth. It was pretty fun to try and do. Even dropped snow in and the occasional speeder and wompa. Yeah, I’m a total geek. But seriously, these ambiance videos are what Homo Sapiens reminds me of, minus the fact that Geyrhalter is saying something about us as species and as a horrible care taker of the planet. I personally think Homo Sapiens 2 should just be of people coming and going in Walmart parking lots. But, that’s just me.

So that is why Homo Sapiens is a current day post apocalyptic wake up call, but should you watch it? I dunno. I personally adore destructive and reductive photography and the like. If it isn’t your thing, no worries. I won’t think too poorly of you.