Archive of films The Sound of Insects - Record of a Mummy / The Sound of Insects - Record of a Mummy

2009, 88 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2009

The actual diary entries of a man who decided to commit suicide by starving himself to death, elaborated into a literary form by Japanese writer Masahiko Shimada. Drawing on the novel, this evocative cinematic reconstruction of events provides a hypnotic record of the feelings of someone who voluntarily forfeited his life.


In his new movie, the versatile Swiss filmmaker develops an incredible story which begins with the chance discovery in the middle of the woods of a 40-year-old man’s mummified remains. The dead man’s detailed notes reveal that just a few months previously he decided to commit suicide through self-imposed starvation. As a starting point, the director turned to Until I Am a Mummy, a novel by Japanese writer Masahiko Shimada, which treats actual events drawn from the found text. This evocative reconstruction of the last weeks of a mysterious man’s life contains a summary of Liechti’s typical means of expression. Stylized images – products of the artist’s imagination – accompany the essayistically presented literary work. His never-ending search for originality of form often approaches experimental cinema, but without losing sight of the storyline. For Liechti, "documentariness” is the foundation upon which he builds a fascinating kind of film that is tough to classify.

About the director

Peter Liechti (b. 1951, St. Gallen) studied art history at the University of Zürich (1971-79), and holds a diploma in teaching arts. His film career began in 1986 as a freelance screenwriter, cameraman, and director. His movies have won awards at many festivals (Locarno, Turin, Leipzig, Saarbrücken, Solothurn), and this January the Rotterdam festival organized a retrospective of his work. His road movie for pedestrians, Lucky Jack (Hans im Glück), was screened in the documentary competition at the 2004 KVIFF. Selected filmography: A Trip to the Mountains (Ausflug ins Gebirge, 1986), Kick That Habit (1989), A Hole in the Hat (1991), Martha’s Garden (1997), Namibia Crossings (2004), Hardcore Chambermusic (2006).


Autlook Filmsales
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About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Screenplay: Peter Leichti
Dir. of Photography: Matthias Kälin, Peter Leichti
Music: Norbert Möslang
Editor: Tania Stöcklin
Producer: Peter Leichti
Production: Leichti Filmproduction
Contact: Autlook Filmsales


Francine Brücher


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