Director(s): Verena Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
SPECIAL ORIZZONTI JURY PRIZE - Venice International Film Festival 2017 / Toronto International Film Festival 2017 - Wavelengths
Caniba is a film that reflects on the discomfiting significance of cannibalistic desire in human existence through the prism of one Japanese man, Issei Sagawa, and his mysterious relationship with his brother, Jun Sagawa.
A 32-year old student at the Sorbonne in Paris, Issei Sagawa was arrested on June 13, 1981 when spotted empty¬ing two bloody suitcases containing the remains of his Dutch classmate, Renée Hartevelt. Two days earlier, after shooting her in the back of the head, Mr. Sagawa raped and then ate his way through her corpse.
Declared legally insane, he returned to Japan. He has been a free man ever since. Ostracized from society, he has made his living off his crime, writing novels, drawing manga, appearing in innumerable documentaries and sexploitation films in which he reenacts his crime, and even becoming a food critic.
The film is set in his small home on the outskirts of Tokyo, and depicts his daily life, and long conversations with his brother Jun-san, his principal carer.
Rather than taking cover behind facile outrage, or creating a masquerade out of humanity’s voyeuristic attraction to the grotesque, this film treats cannibalistic desire and acts with the unnerving gravity they deserve, coming as close as anyone yet to the seemingly unexplainable.