Friday, December 28, 2012

The Sound of Insects!

I just watched a film you’ve never heard of, “The Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy.”  It is available on NetFlix Streaming.

I recommend it – with caveats.  You might find it boring and insipid.  You might find it thought-provoking.  You might find it hard to take.  Agonizing.  Compelling.  Exasperating.  Or all of the above.

I was mesmerized by it.  Said to be a documentary, it is the diary of a man who chose to commit suicide by starving himself to death.  He goes deep into the woods, sets up a plastic tent and begins his dance with death.  The narration is the words written by this man over the 60+ days it took him to die.  There is some question about whether it really is a true story or a work of fiction written by Masahiko Shimada.  In the end it doesn’t matter.  Fact or not, it is a unique look at the process of dying as seen through the eyes of the one doing the dying.

Creatively and effectively combining images, sound and music with the voice over, the Swiss director, Peter Liechti, did an amazing job of keeping me interested.  And he forced me to confront that subject that intrigues and frightens us all – death.


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