DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

The Human Surge (El Auge Humano)

Director - Eduardo Williams - 2017

"Greasy movie"
Young without a cause: Highly experimental and audacious doc with homemade feel investigates the aimlessness of youth across three different continents - in cinemas now

It’s not often that a film willfully aims for distance and monotony, and it successfully finds urgency in the banal and the mundane. This is precisely what Argentinian born and Paris-based filmmaker Eduardo Williams does in his latest endeavour, the unusual the documentary The Human Surge.

The film has indeed a deeply artistic, experimental and borderline homemade feel. The camera is mostly handheld and shaky, and Williams’s idiosyncratic narrative style, with loose plots and a fluid congruity, won’t please everyone. It’s not surprising that the film premiered in an art gallery earlier this year, the Tate Modern. Yet it’s not like an art installation in a museum, which you sit watch for 10 or 15 random minutes and then walk away. It’s a 93-minute feature that must be seen in its entirety. And it’s not a film to be watched at it home, and it mandates concentration and attention to detail.

Young men in three countries and in three different continents are the subject of the movie: first in Argentina, then in Mozambique and finally, in the last third of the film, in the Philippines. The people mingle in groups, have futile conversations, meander aimlessly and engage in soulless sex; their existence looks profoundly tedious to an outsider, almost worthy of pity. Perhaps most importantly, they communicate with the support of technology: computer, mobile phones and so on. Such devices link the three narratives in a very subtle and yet effective way. It’s not entirely clear whether the dialogues and action are scripted, and whether the young men are reenacting something – and this ambiguity is an integral of the allure of the movie

This is a dry and prescriptive experiment. Faces and bodies are hardly discernible in some of the dialogues, particularly the most sexually-charged moments.The shots are mostly medium and long, there is no voice-over and the overall result is purposely dispassionate, disjointed and disengaged, almost like a amateurish scientific observation. Or a nature show about an exotic creature called homo sapiens. Except that there is there is no avuncular David Attenborough, and the photography is dark and somber.

In fact, the most impressive moment of the film is when the focus moves away from human beings. The camera shifts from a urinating young man and literally splendidly penetrates an anthill morphing into macrophotography, thereby documenting the movement inside the colony. It’s as if Williams wanted to tell us these social insects function is a manner not too different from us human being.

In a nutshell, this is a dirty and innovative film, and it’s interesting to watch if you have a taste for languid and excruciating observation. The Human Surge is out in selected cinemas across the UK on Friday, July 7th.



"Greasy movie"

By Victor Fraga - 04-07-2017

By Victor Fraga - 04-07-2017

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 ye...

DMovies Poll

Should smoking in cinema be banned?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Thousands of reviews, opinion pieces, YouTube videos, blog [Read More...]
Perhaps no other 20th century artist has captured [Read More...]
Another year has gone by, and DMovies is [Read More...]
The past 12 months saw three major British [Read More...]
What happens when an independent female filmmaker with [Read More...]

Read More

When Trees Fall (Koly Padayut Dereva)

Marysia Nikitiuk
2018

Victor Fraga - 21-02-2018

The colour of my female dreams! Ukrainian film by first-time female director is visually exquisite and sophisticated, despite a very commonplace script - from the Berlinale [Read More...]

Tranny Fag (Bixa Travesty)

Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla
2018

Victor Fraga - 20-02-2018

Are you man enough for me? Brazilian gender terrorist Linn da Quebrada is in Europe to savage your primitive notions of masculinity and femininity - live from the Berlinale [Read More...]

Kinshasa Makambo

Dieudo Hamadi
2018

Victor Fraga - 20-02-2018

Audacious doc registers the rebel struggle against the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila, who has been in power for 17 years and still refuses to budge - live from the Berlinale [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *