A portrait of the Earth in the Anthropocene – at seven locations that humans have transformed on a grand scale: Entire mountains being moved in California, a tunnel being sliced through rock at the Brenner Pass, an open-cast mine in Hungary, a marble quarry in Italy, a copper mine in Spain, the salt mine used to store radioactive waste in Wolfenbüttel and a tar sands landscape in Canada. Initially shown from above as abstract paintings, these terrains are subsequently explored on the ground: The film weaves together observational footage of machines in operation with conversations with the workers. Alongside statements on work processes, environmental damage and technological change, EARTH makes this constructed world visible in unique fashion by subtly paring it down: the piles of grey matter, hills and mountains. The blackness and the cracks. The sandy landscapes, criss-crossed by an array of mechanical devices that scuttle about like caterpillars or worms. The dimensions are gigantic, the proportions out of control; the world has slipped from humanity’s grasp. “There is always a bigger machine, a bigger engine and when all fails there is dynamite. We always win.” Or do we?
- International Award - Sheffield Doc/Fest
- Nikolaus Geyrhalter
- Nikolaus Geyrhalter
- Niki Mossböck
- AUTLOOK FILMSALES
- NIKOLAUS GEYRHALTER FILMPRODUKTION GMBH
- Festival Bookings
- AUSTRIAN FILMS
Geyrhalter adorns this extremely complex theme with his trademark rigorous narrative structure, and it works wonders.
Quietly urgent dispatches from a planet under siege.
You might compare this to the landscape cinema of James Benning. But Geyrhalter proves again that he is a unique figure in world cinema.
Rendered abstract by the extreme distance, the landscapes assume an organic appearance, so that the machines appear to be lacerating the Earth's skin, while the grim colour of the devastated land and polluted sky evoke nothing less than a cancer.
A powerful example of politically charged landscape filmmaking.
I see my profession more as a craft, I see myself as someone who lives off what he produces with a hammer and knife.
Nikolaus Geyrhalter is a director, producer and cameraman, born in Vienna in 1972. In 1994, when he was 22 years old, he founded his own production company Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion which focusses on documentaries and auteur fiction. His film, HOMO SAPIENS (2016), was selected at the Berlinale Forum. His film THE BORDER FENCE (2018) was selected for IDFA. His film EARTH (2019) had its premiere at Berlin IFF.