Winner of the European Film Academy Documentary 2009 award “for its skillful exploration of minimalistic means to create an extraordinary visual story between life and death.”
In a remote wintry forest, a hunter discovers the mummified corpse of a 40-year-old man. A diary is found near the body, detailing the man’s everyday thoughts as he commits suicide through self-imposed starvation. Based on an incredible true story, and adapted from the novella “Until I am a Mummy“ by Shimada Masahiko, Peter Liecthi’s THE SOUND OF INSECTS is a stunning investigation into the mystery of the man’s enigmatic self-destructive motivations. Taking on his point-of-view, the film presents the notebook entries as stream-of-consciousness musings on the world around him as his body dissipates, an attempt to piece together the causes of his disillusionment. With luminous cinematography of the vaulting trees that surround his tented tomb, and of hallucinated memories of the cities and people he left behind, THE SOUND OF INSECTS is a hypnotic and transcendent meditation on how the renunciation of life paradoxically reveals its beauty.
“Surprisingly not macabre, this fictionalized record of self-aggrandizement through self-destruction reminds one of Derek Jarman’s Blue in its epistolary delivery and its displacement of meaning to that which is never really shown.” Read the full review.
- Slant Magazine
Switzerland, 2008, 87 min.
Available in digital formats only