Bertha Dochouse and The Japanese Avant-garde and Experimental Film Festival are proud to present the UK premiere of Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor's (Leviathan) CANIBA - the latest project from the innovative Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab.
CANIBA invites viewers to spend 90 minutes in the company of the infamous cannibal Issei Sagawa who, in 1981, murdered and partially ate a fellow student whilst studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. Due to a ruling of insanity by a French court and legal technicalities in Japan, Sagawa was allowed to return to his native country a free man, where he continues to make a living from his macabre celebrity.
Paravel and Castaing-Taylor's documentary is a stylistically experimental and thematically challenging viewing experience. Shot in unbroken takes and extreme close-ups, the audience is forced to look into an abject abyss. Revulsion might be expected from this encounter, but more disturbing is to recognise Sagawa's humanity, or to empathise with him. Such was the case when CANIBA screened at the Venice Film Festival: it was a controversial screening, but the film walked off with the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize.