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De Humani Corporis Fabrica film image, co-directors Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor

De Humani Corporis Fabrica

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A portrait of the human health system, directors Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (Leviathan, Caniba) continue their ethnographic filmmaking project, reaching unseen depths in human bodies and the health care infrastructure that struggles to maintain them. Revolutionary micro-cameras free the filmmakers to wander through the human body without limit, slithering through intestines and arteries no differently than the hallways and cavities of labyrinthian hospitals. Guided only by the scarce fragments of conversations of doctors and nurses, a picture forms of exhausted doctors, traumatized staff, and an institution crumbling under the magnitude of its work.

Unflinching in its approach, the film is a survey of twin systems, the human body and health care infrastructure, inextricably tied together and unexpectedly similar in structure. The abject horror of open surgery gives way to the abstract beauty of clinical medical imaging, as the film repurposes them to create a harrowingly immersive cinematic experience.

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In French with English subtitles

Film Contact
118 min
Documentary Women Directors

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Valentina Novati, Charles Gillibert, Pauline Gygax, Max Karli, Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor


Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor


Véréna Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor



Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor collaborate as filmmakers at Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Laboratory. Their films and installations have been screened at BAFICI, the Berlinale, CPH:DOX, Toronto International Film Festival, and New York Film Festival. Recently, their work joined the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the British Museum, and has been exhibited at Tate Modern, Centre Pompidou, and Berlin Kunsthalle. Their film Leviathan (2013) received many awards, including the FIPRESCI Award at Locarno International Film Festival. Their documentary Caniba (2017) won the Special Jury Award at the 74th Venice Film Festival, among other awards.

Filmography: Leviathan (2012); Somniloquies (2017); Caniba (2017)