Vital Signs

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    As biomedical research and technology advances, so does our understanding of what makes the human organism work. Even so, many of the secrets of our physicality remain as mysterious as they are intimately familiar. These films explore themes around the health of the body, accepting that being alive is as much an organic process as it is a lived experience.

    See the films


    • Ira A. Goryainova
    • 2019

    An intimate essay on the human body, disease and health. Departing from personal experience, filmmaker Ira A. Goryainova explores how we have looked at ourselves and our illnesses over the centuries.

    For Sama

    • Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts
    • 2019

    The 26-year-old citizen journalist Waad al-Kateab films her life in besieged Aleppo, Syria. She falls in love, marries, and gives birth to daughter Sama. In the form of a letter to Sama, the film intimately captures the reality of war and an uncertain future.


    • Anne van Campenhout
    • 2019

    In this disarming documentary we see Dutch junior high school kids receiving their most memorable lesson yet: sexual education. Their faces are flushed with embarrassment and curiosity, but what’s going on in their minds?

    Lost in Memories

    • Ruud Lenssen
    • 2019

    A moving and tender portrait of the parents of filmmaker Ruud Lenssen. His father Jac has vascular dementia, and his mother Ria is struggling in her role as caregiver. As the disease progresses, an inevitable decision draws ever closer.


    • Antón Terni
    • 2019

    Moments in the lives of three blind friends from Uruguay, documented with warmth and humor. They go hiking, camping, swim in the sea and attend rock concerts, all with casual confidence and joie de vivre.


    • Suzanne Raes
    • 2019

    Currently incurable, multiple sclerosis is viewed from the perspective of a writer and patient and that of a neuroscientist. Their candid conversation is the backbone of this film.


    • Kana Ohashi, Daijiro Mizuno
    • 2019

    During her pregnancy, Mie discovers she has stomach cancer; she dies after her son’s first birthday. This poignant cinematic photo album is an account of a tragic “transition” in the lives of a young Japanese family.

    The Waiting Room VR

    • Victoria Mapplebeck
    • 2019

    A poetic exploration of director Victoria Mapplebeck’s experience with breast cancer. Multilayered soundscapes, scientific imaging and her last radiation session captured in immersive 360-degree VR offer a calm yet futuristic confrontation with mortality. On show in DocLab: Exhibition (free on-site reservation required) and as part of the DocLab VR-Cinema (regular ticket sales).