Erdenmensch is a dystopian art film based on a poem, which stylistically shows references to expressionism (for example. Dawn of Man). The short film is intended as a kind of message to the viewer and critically questions the role and task of man on earth.
A human being can be seen emerging from the water – a seemingly banal story that finds its beginning in the cold wet begins and yet depicts what moves many of us today as we grow and exist. Childhood, which lets us feel and experience our senses, seems to be too short, because we are born as adults pursuing the repetitive monotonous day`s work. A routine that has nothing to do with our senses any more. Thus, we acquire the surrounding nature without further ado, work on it, eat it and inhale it, until nothing remains. And at this point the protagonist, who symbolically stands for humanity, also metaphorically takes on the role of Earth. Not only humanity changes, but also the planet. Hands “from all directions” grab mother Earth and make her their own. Not only humanity but also mother Earth is transformed, so to speak, into a silver machine. One that seems to be spinning out of control.
At this point the film also connects to the philosophy of existentialism. To the question of the meaning of our existence. In its entirety it refers to the four stages of self-realization – and the time of expressionism – as they stylistically characterize the lyricists of that time. The awakening of the human being begins in the morning, until the evening the disgust about one’s own existence grows (Can I still connect or am I alone after all?). At night, when the stars shine brightest, destruction is forthcoming – in the film man becomes a machine. The cycle closes with the next morning. This stage promises a new beginning, but not in the film „Erdenmensch“ EARTH MAN. The viewer is finally drawn to a smeared surface. Desktops, tablets, smartphones – screens dominate our everyday life and limit our view. Reality turns into virtuality and the contact to nature and to being human is lost on a dirty glued screen. Is that all that remains? The distance is further deepened by the brassy monochrome tonality of the film in general, especially at the end, when the viewer can only understand the words of the actress with real difficulty, which are simply a repetition of the voice coming from the background. The contact to the outside has already been lost. Has the question of the outcome of our existence already been answered?
The short film is also to be understood as a critique of our society and can, moreover, also be seen as the visualization of a general nascent depression … Man optimizes all work steps continuously, wasting vast amounts of resources, solely to generate profit and loses contact with himself and the deeper values of our existence on this planet.
The art film “Erdenmensch” won the 19th Lusatian Film Show on November 1, 2021.
Director, Editor, Script: Carolin Bloch
Co-director: Martin Drzisga
Leading role: Miriam Sesay
Camera: Heiko Schleinitz
Soundtrack: Felix Dahlmanns
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