One of the most exciting directorial debuts in recent years is Helena Wittmann’s 2017 feature film Drift, a formally audacious water journey. The German filmmaker returned to the festival circuit last year, at Locarno and the New York Film Festival, with its sequel human flesh flowers, which proved to be a natural extension of his cinematic sea transportation interests while also greatly expanding his canvas. Ahead of Cinema Guild’s theatrical release beginning on Metrograph on April 14, along with a comprehensive retrospective of Wittmann’s work, including Drift4 short films and a live performance: we are pleased to exclusively present the new trailer and poster.
Here is the official synopsis: “human flesh flowers go on, Ida (Canine‘s Angeliki Papoulia), who, after a thrilling encounter with the French Foreign Legion, sets sail with his own corps of five men, none of whom speak the same language, to follow the route of this legendary troop. His journey will take them from Marseille to Corsica and finally to Sidi Bel Abbès, Algeria, the Legion’s historic headquarters. On the way, the limits are blurred; life at sea produces a special kind of mutual understanding; a legionnaire of yesteryear turns around”.
Leonardo Goi said in his review: “At the beginning of Helena Wittmann’s film debut in 2017, Drift, a character tells a story from Papua New Guinea about the creation of the world. When the planet was all water, a giant crocodile kept rowing preventing the sand from settling; only after a warrior killed the beast did the land come into existence. a few minutes in human flesh flowers a sailor shares another legend, this one from Ancient Greece. As he cut off Medusa’s head, Perseus dropped her on the shore; the algae absorbed the petrifying powers of the Gorgon, and thus the coral was born. Wittmann has a gift for myths, and his cinema radiates a certain mythical grandeur, a pleasure as primitive and untimely as the stories around which his projects revolve. FlowersIn that, it feels both old and new. It is a film whose visual experiments invite you to see the world anew, even as the demons that feed it trace back to a passion for storytelling that is as old as time itself.
Check out the exclusive trailer and poster, designed by Brian Hung, below.
human flesh flowers opens April 14 on Metrograph and will expand: including the retrospective, Wittmann will embark on a North American tour in support of the film, with stops in Toronto (TIFF Bell Lightbox, April 20), Chicago (Gene Siskel Film Center, April 22), Seattle (Northwest Film Forum, April 28) and Los Angeles (Rotations/Acropolis Cinema, May 4).