10 user 22 critic

Homo Sapiens (2016)

Homo sapiens (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 19 October 2016 (France)
1:01 | Trailer
Homo Sapiens shows stunning images of forgotten places, buildings we constructed and then left.


Nikolaus Geyrhalter (concept)
2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Earth (2019)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Several billion tons of earth are moved annually by humans - with shovels, excavators or dynamite. Earth observes people, in mines, quarries and at large construction sites, engaged in a constant struggle to take possession of the planet.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Nikolaus Geyrhalter accompanies the last few workers of an old textile mill over the span of ten years: how they deal with the mill closing and consequently move on with their lives.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

OUR DAILY BREAD is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn't always easy to digest - and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Stars: Claus Hansen Petz, Arkadiusz Rydellek, Barbara Hinz
Pripyat (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After 1986, a restricted zone was erected at a radius of 30km around Chernobyl. More than 100.000 people have been evacuated from there, but some have remained or returned. "Pripyat" follows four protagonists who live or work in this zone.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

With precisely composed shots and detailed interviews with local police officers, hikers, farmers and small business owners, the film explores the few square kilometers at the Brenner Pass, telling an urgent story of Europe in the process.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Director Chris Marker begins by recounting his childhood dream of visiting the city of Peking, a city he was once only able to admire in books. The viewer is taken on a journey through this... See full summary »

Director: Chris Marker
Stars: Gilles Quéant
The Event (2015)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In August 1991 a failed coup d'état attempt (known as Putsch) led by a group of hard-core communists in Moscow, ended the 70-year-long rule of the Soviets. The USSR collapsed soon after, ... See full summary »

Director: Sergey Loznitsa
Abendland (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This documentary about Europe at night makes you reflect on service processes and infrastructures that never sleep.

Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter


The images could be taken from a science fiction film set on planet Earth after it's become uninhabitable. Abandoned buildings - housing estates, shops, cinemas, hospitals, offices, schools, a library, amusement parks and prisons. Places and areas being reclaimed by nature, such as a moss-covered bar with ferns growing between the stools, a still stocked soft drinks machine now covered with vegetation, an overgrown rubbish dump, or tanks in the forest. Tall grass sprouts from cracks in the asphalt. Birds circle in the dome of a decommissioned reactor, a gust of wind makes window blinds clatter or scraps of paper float around, the noise of the rain: sounds entirely without words, plenty of room for contemplation. All these locations carry the traces of erstwhile human existence and bear witness to a civilisation that brought forth architecture, art, the entertainment industry, technologies, ideologies, wars and environmental disasters. Written by AnonymousB

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »



Switzerland | Germany | Austria



Release Date:

19 October 2016 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Homo Sapiens See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


One scene was shot in former swimming pool "tropicana" , Rotterdam NL. See more »


References The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Apocalypse NOW
31 July 2016 | by Lance-186-203032See all my reviews

A random series of establishing shots for post-apocalyptic movies that never get started, Homo Sapiens is more a slide show than a movie; yet, it's hypnotic and thought-provoking. Vacant malls, theaters, temples, groceries, neighborhoods, and parking lots are the stars here, no humans are to be seen. We can only assume each environment was abandoned by natural or man-made disaster. Gentle breezes flow through the frame and no soundtrack blares, manipulating your emotions, just the ambient tones of cups rolling in the breeze, plastic flapping, flies buzzing, or pigeons cooing.

These may just be 30-second screen savers for complete nihilists, but it's amazing how, over several minutes (the documentary is about one and a half hours) the imagination begins firing and you find yourself constructing your own story. Some shots have clues as to their location; Asia, North America, the Middle East…but most shots could be anywhere, remnants of civilization wiped out, perhaps for months, perhaps years. Chernobyl, Fukushima, Bulgaria, Argentina. Absent any intrusion of a sense of story, or even editing sequence to give us a sense of time or place, we could easily be alien travelers or archaeologists, looking at the broken and rotting remains of some lost civilization. You may have seen a location or two in some movie or other; every scene looks like a movie set created by some top art director.

The sound is the only real narrator, and if you listen closely, there are distant, perhaps phantom, sounds; alarms, a clang here or there. You'd half expect a narrator's voice to fire up at any moment; a Morgan Freeman, David Attenborough or Werner Herzog. The camera does not swoop or glide along a track; we are immobile, fixed, and the only thing that moves is nature.

It would have been easier to string together a series of found footage from urban adventurists, but director/photographer Nikolaus Geyrhalter clearly wanted all his shots to have a consistent tone and lighting. Every shot could have been designed by a Stanley Kubrick or David Lean. There was some subtle digital manipulation or wind effects, but otherwise we are seeing it as is. There is no dramatic impact, just the matter-of-factness of humanity's bleak demise and nature's time-tested powers of reclamation. If there is a dramatic effect, it's that the scenes at the end are in winter climes, and the final image is consumed by a blizzard's whiteout. The shock, you realize afterward, is not the harrowing, desolate beauty of these post-apocalyptic sites—but the fact that they exist here and now.

I've never seen rebar look so beautiful.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed