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The Sound of Insects – Record of a Mummy
dir. Peter Liechti / Switzerland 2009 / 88’
subtitles: Polish and English
Documentaries / essays


Petter Mettler

Film description

A mummified body of a 40-year-old man is found in a forest. It turns out that the deceased held a diary where he carefully recorded all events, impressions, dreams and thoughts of the last period of his life. The film is a sort of interpretation of his notes from which we learn that the author resolved to commit suicide... by starvation. The director Peter Liechti, a recognised Swiss documentary filmmaker, was inspired by the novella Miira ni naru made by the Japanese author Shimada Masahiko. With this groundwork he made a story about crossing the threshold, about a zone between life and death, about the mind's struggle against the body. The character, whose thoughts are revealed to us by the hypnotising voiceover (in the English version - Peter Mettler, often seen in the programme of ENH), challenges his own body and will. Closed in a tiny tent somewhere out in a jungle, with a small radio, flash-light and a book, he observes the world outside and inside. He collects sounds, images, smells, visions, memories and dreams.Gradually, he distances himself from reality and submerges into himself. The director edits frames and sounds in an ambiguous, asynchronised way, using material shot over many months and thus recording an extraordinary journey through a peak experience.

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