“Erdenmensch” ( EARTH MAN) – by Carolin Bloch

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Erdenmensch is a dystopian art film based on a poem, which stylistically shows references to expressionism (e.g. Menschheitsdämmerung). 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 become. Childhood, which lets us feel and experience our senses, seems to come too short, because as adults we are born and dedicate ourselves steadily to the recurring monotonous daily work. One that has nothing more in common with our senses. Thus, we acquire the surrounding nature without further ado, work on it, eat it and inhale it, until nothing remains of it. And at this point the protagonist, who symbolically stands for man, also metaphorically takes on the role of the earth. Not only man changes, but also the planet. Hands “from all directions” take hold of her and make her their own. And not only man but also she is thus 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. It refers in its entirety, but also to the time of expressionism – to the four stages of self-knowledge, as they stylistically characterized the lyricists of that time. The awakening of the human being begins in the morning, with the evening the indignation (Can I connect or am I alone after all?) about one’s own existence grows. At night, when the stars shine brightest, a downfall is imminent – in the film man becomes machine. The cycle closes to the returning morning. This stage promises a new beginning, but not in „Erdenmensch“ EARTH MAN. The gaze is finally drawn to a smeared surface. Desktops, tablets, smartphones – screens permeate our everyday life – limit our gaze. 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 emphasized by the tinny monochrome tonality of the film in general, but also at the end, when the viewer can only with difficulty correctly make out the words of the actress, which are simply a repetition of the voice from the background. The contact to the outside has thus already been lost. Has the question of the outcome of our existence long since been answered?

The short film is also to be understood as a critique of our society and can, moreover, also be spun 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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