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The Human Crater

A film by U5, 2017

'Every man is an abyss, you get dizzy looking in.' 

When people are like ravines and craters, are mountains and volcanoes like human beings? In breathtaking pictures, the film The Human Crater leads to the personalities of the volcanoes on the Indonesian island of Java. To spirited Merapi, gentle Galunggung, to wise, old Ungaran, superstar Bromo, or the slightly neurotic Sindoro.

The Human Crater combines travelogue, documentation, research, reflection and fiction. It explores the relationship between humans and nature, politics and beauty. By connecting Singapore and Java it also contrasts life in the air-conditioned city to expeditions into nature. The Human Crater is an eloquent essay about control and loss of control, basic elements of traveling as well as our relationship to volcanoes. 

(Text by Dora Imhof)

The Human Crater, 2017

60 min, sound: 5.1
Concept, camera, cut & script: U5
Sound: The Observatory, Li Tavor & Nicolas Buzzi

The film screenings are accompanied by scent.


Smells to recall the volcanoes in collaboration with Nadja Wagner: 1. Geosmin (earth smell), 2. Evernyl (dust, moss), 3. Amyl Vinyl Carbinol (damp, mushroom, after-rain smell), 4. Costus (sweat, dirty hair)

The Human Crater was screened at various venues, including The Laundry, San Francisco; Engadin Art Talks, Zuoz; Cinema Rex, Bern; Helmhaus, Zürich; Filmpodium, Zürich; Kortum Gesellschaft, Bochum; International Symposium on Film, Architecture, and Urban Studies, Zürich.

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