Caniba – Centro Luigi Pecci

France, USA, 2017, 96' 

A disquieting, upsetting portrayal of Issei Sagawa, who killed a classmate and ate a part of her body in Paris in 1981. He was declared mentally incompetent and jailed for two years in a French clinic, after which he was deported to Japan where he wrote a book and made a manga comic on his crime.

In an attempt to explore his motives, Castaing-Taylor and Paravel visit the murderer. They find a man partially paralysed after a stroke, living under the guardianship of his brother. The relationship between the two becomes the powerful, alienating core of the film which, by way of its extreme close-ups, does not shy away from dealing with an existential theme with unfathomable answers. The unreconciled contrast between the cannibalistic horror of the crime and Sagawa’s current helpless condition, as well as that between the brothers’ love for embalmed animals and their extreme sexual desires, puts the audience in an existential discomfort zone and pushes them to perform a reflection on the shocking meaning of cannibalistic desire and to acknowledge the most disconcerting aspects of human existence.

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Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: 10 Nov 2022
  • Time: 11:00


Centro Pecci
Centro Pecci - Viale della Repubblica, 277, 59100 Prato
Verena Paravel e Lucien Castaing-Taylor


Verena Paravel e Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor collaborate as visual anthropologists in the Sensory Ethnography Laboratory, Harvard University. Their works joined the permanent collections of museums such as the MoMa of New York and the British Museum, and has been exhibited at the Tate Modern, the Whitney Museum of New York, the Centre Pompidou and Berlin Kunsthalle. Their first feature-length together, Leviathan (2012), received the FIPRESCI Award at Locarno Film Festival in 2012. Somniloquies (2016), presented at Berlinale in 2017, was commissioned by documenta 14, along with with Commensal (2017). In 2018 Caniba (2017) won the Special Jury Award at the 74th Venice Film Festival among many other awards. The Fabric of the Human Body (2022), their fourth film, has been selected for the Directors’ Fortnight of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

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