Russian premiere of observational documentary by Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor about one of the most famous cannibals of the 20th century.


USA | 2017 | 90 min
Verena Paravel / Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Russian Premiere
Caniba is a fresco about flesh and desire. It reflects on the discomfiting significance of cannibalism in human existence through the prism of one Japanese man, Issei Sagawa, and his mysterious relationship with his brother, Jun Sagawa. A 32-year old student at the Sorbonne in Paris, Issei Sagawa was arrested on June 13, 1981 when spotted emptying two bloody suitcases containing the remains of his Dutch classmate, Renée Hartevelt, into a lake in the Bois de Boulogne. Two days earlier, he had killed her while she was translating German Romantic poetry over dinner in his apartment. After shooting her in the back of the head, Mr. Sagawa raped and then ate his way through her corpse. Eventually, fatigued and dizzy from the heat and smell, he decided to discard her remains. Declared legally insane, he returned to Japan. He has been a free man since. Ostracized from society, he has lived off his crime for over 30 years. He has written novels and manga comics that recount his crime in detail. He has starred in documentaries and pornographic films. He has also served as a food critic. He still expresses his desire to consume human flesh and to die at the hands and in the mouth of a fellow cannibal.

Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Paravel and Castaing-Taylor collaborate as filmmakers in the Sensory Ethnography Laboratory. Their work seeks to conjugate art's negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life. Their films and videos have been screened at AFI, BAFICI, Berlin, CPH:DOX, Locarno, New York, Toronto, Vienna and other film festivals. They have received theatrical distribution and been broadcast on television in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, and throughout Latin America; are in the permanent collection of New York's Museum of Modern Art and the British Museum; have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate, London's Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Whitney Museum, the Centre Pompidou, the Berlin Kunsthalle, the Whitechapel Gallery, and PS1; and have formed the subject of symposia at the Smithsonian Institution, the Musée du quai Branly, and the British Museum. Their film Leviathan was released theatrically in 2013, and won the FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Award of Locarno International Film Festival, the Michael Powell Award of the Edinburgh Film Festival, New Vision Award of CPH:DOX, the Silva Puma for Best Film in FICUNAM, the Los Angeles Film Critics' Circle Douglas Edwards Independent and Experimental Film Award, and sixteen other awards. Additional awards for their work include the 2013 True Vision Award, the 2013 Alpert Award in the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2012). In 2015, they completed a monumental site-specific installation, Ah humanity!, with Ernst Karel, a work that takes the 3/11/11 disaster as its point of departure and reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the Age of the Anthropocene. It has been installed at the National Archives of France in the Cour d'Honneur of the Hôtel de Soubise in Paris, as well as in Tokyo, Japan, and in Cambridge, MA, USA. Their latest works, commissioned by documenta 14, are somniloquies (2017) and Commensal (2017).

September 30
Buy Ticket