Homo Sapiens shows stunning images of forgotten places, buildings we constructed and then left.
I’ve always been interested in abandoned spaces such as buildings, sports stations and even cities in come cases, and ‘Homo Sapiens’ is a documentary that feeds that interest. It’s a simple but effective piece of cinema, focusing on showcasing a variety of man made structures that have been left behind by the people they were built for, allowing nature to reclaim them. The documentary features no commentary, no indicators of where the locations are beyond signage in the local language, with the only sounds coming from the eerie noises of the wind, the rain and in some cases, the wildlife.
The film’s purpose is to provoke thought and to imagine a world where man no longer exists and it certainly achieves this, although it did struggle to hold my attention fully throughout the 90 minute runtime. There’s a spooky quality to viewing images of places that were once busy and full of people, locations where people once worked, made memories and lived their lives, and the still camerawork evocatively captures these spaces. I’d have liked a little more information about the places we visit (and internet searches thus far haven’t found a detailed list), but I can appreciate that would have taken away from the dystopian feel the filmmakers are going for.
‘Homo Sapiens’ is a documentary that’ll have a very niche appeal, but the filmmakers have captured some striking imagery and I felt it powerfully illustrated man’s effect on nature, and ultimately our legacy.
Directed By: Nikolaus Geyrhalter