Dancing with Dead Animals

    • Maarten Isaäk de Heer
    • Netherlands, Germany
    • 2022
    • 10 min
    • Immersive, Installation
    • World Premiere
    • IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction, DocLab: Nervous Systems

    Animation artist Maarten Isaäk de Heer was astonished by the huge number of animal deaths in his direct environment: from masses of fruit flies all dying together, to mice brought in by his own cat. He decided to make a record of all of the dead creatures he encountered over the course of a single spring and summer.

    Making 3D photograms of their sometimes semi-decomposed bodies enabled him to bring them back to life, so they can dance with a contemporary Adam and Eve in a paradisical landscape of twigs, leaves, bark and other dead organic material.

    The dome projection draws the viewer into this celebration of life after death. Along the way, this living tableau of cadavers becomes increasingly surreal, like a scene by Hieronymus Bosch. It’s a danse macabre, but without any malevolent intentions. It goes beyond good and evil, simply illustrating the same biology that governs us all.

    Winner of the Filmfund DocLab Interactive Grant 2022


    • 10 min
    • Spoken languages: Not applicable
    Maarten Isaäk de Heer
    Richard Valk, Evelyn Brancard for Menetekel Film
    Sound Design
    Michał Krajczok
    Screening copy
    Evelyn Brancard for Menetekel Film

    IDFA history

    World Premiere
    IDFA DocLab Competition for Immersive Non-Fiction
    DocLab: Nervous Systems

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    IDFA history

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