Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter. Germany/Switzerland/Austria. 2016. 94mins.
Best known for Our Daily Bread, an unsettling treatise on humankind’s Faustian pact with the food we eat, Austrian documentarian Nikolaus Geyrhalter has now directed a film that is equally disturbing. Despite its title, humans feature here only indirectly, and then solely in terms of the evidence they leave behind. Geyrhalter’s camera lingers on a series of largely abandoned industrial constructions: railway stations, swimming pools, a decaying church, an operating theatre, shopping malls and, most spectacular of all, a rollercoaster rising from the sea – presumably a casualty of climate change. However, there are no easy explanations on offer, and we are obliged to draw our own conclusions, our reactions enhanced by an eerie soundtrack composed entirely of nature’s responses to these forsaken edifices. A stunning, sobering work.
Presented by Misc Films, a UK-based programming collective dedicated to showcasing unreleased and under-screened films.