Carcasse

Gstav Geir Bollason
Clmentine Roy
Carcasse
Gallery 10

When one thinks about the downfall of civilizations, past, present and future, it is most often the ferociousness of the crash that manifests in visual art and epic poems, on the screen, in reliefs or books. We see modern skyscrapers collapse like toy-castles, lava-waves swallow ancient capitals, fleets of forgotten empires covered with barnacles and seaweed on the bottom of the ocean, deserted fortresses on eroded mountaintops, the unachievable wonders of future engineering, smashed by the persistent branches of new forests. Our next thought is the people who were present in the vortex of the destruction. They were there when mans smallness became obvious. The monstrous elements toss the crowd like garbage being rinsed off a curb and into the gutter with boiling hot sewage water. And in the glimpses of individual men and women, trying to save themselves and their loved ones from the overwhelming power, we see ourselves and our hope of being rescued. But we know that is unlikely.

With films, a new, narrative medium was created that could stage these stories in a more effective way than before. The downfall of Babylon, the big earthquake in San Francisco, the volcanic eruption in Pompeii, the elimination of life on Earth after a collision with a meteor, after a nuclear war, after an invasion from outer space, after a zombie plague, after an anthropogenic climate change weve seen all of this, and more. Films that tell stories of peoples lives after such apocalypses most often take place in the ruins of the fallen superpowers. What used to be a life on the edge, during a posh era, is now the only way. People, who lived in abundance before, now have to fend for themselves in the ruins, just like the ones who had nothing. The struggle to survive becomes harsh and ruthless. Human beings face themselves and the question, which part of their nature will be the key to a new civilization: mutualism or competition.

But what about those who used to live on the edge anyway, neglected and excluded from lifes luxuries? What changes for the people who had to make do with what trickled down from the superpowers table of abundance? It seems to me, Clmentine Roy and Gstav Geir Bollason are addressing these questions in a haunting yet thoughtful way, in this cinematographic piece, Carcasse. They invite us to take part in the daily rounds of people who live north of worlds history. Where resonating but unromantic silence reigns. We watch men, women and children go about their chores and search for sustenance. We see they are creative in their efforts to live peacefully together, near the edge of the carcass of a civilization that didnt even know they existed.

Carcasse is among the most remarkable films ever made in Iceland. Such an artistic and personal handling of the art form is rare, and very few filmmakers dare to take on such a vast topic. Therefore, the film not only offers hope about mankind finding its way in the future, but also a hope for the future of the art form in the country where it was so beautifully created.

Sjn.