Archive of films Substance / Substanz

2014, 14 min

Section: Imagina
Year: 2014

This impressionistic contemplation of the disaster in Fukushima, Japan, is conveyed through images of destruction, human despair, and chaos. One image rolls into the next in hypnotic multiple exposures, like a pure visual substance, in order to re-create the abstract perceptions of a paralyzed foreigner visiting a devastated country.


It took the young German documentarist three years to find a way to use the shots he had acquired in Japan shortly after the Fukushima catastrophe. In the end, he arranged the images of destruction, human despair, and chaos into an impressionistic film collage that combines his hypnotic multiple exposures with an evocative soundtrack. Before our eyes, the film frame rolls out an amorphous audiovisual "substance” that seeks to convey the abstract perceptions of a paralyzed foreigner who is confronted with a disaster of apocalyptic dimensions.

About the director

Sebastian Mez

Sebastian Mez (b. 1982, Essen) began studies in direction at Baden-Württemberg Film Academy in 2007. His short film Clean Up (2008) screened at dozens of film festivals; he followed it up with even greater success for his documentary Ein Brief aus Deutschland (2011), which won the George Foundation Prize (medium length film) at Nyon’s Visions du Réel festival. The director’s feature debut Metamorphosen (2012) was presented at last year’s Berlinale.


Sebastian Mez
Gneisenaustrasse 83, 10961, Berlin
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Imagina
Director: Sebastian Mez
Screenplay: Sebastian Mez
Dir. of Photography: Sebastian Mez
Music: Sebastian Mez
Editor: Sebastian Mez
Producer: Sebastian Mez
Production: Levitate Films
Contact: Sebastian Mez


Sebastian Mez

Film Director


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