Ah humanity!
ah humanity
Original Title: Ah humanity! - International Title: Ah humanity! - Country: France/USA/Japan - Year: 2015 - Length: 23:05 - Language: N/A - Subtitles: NO - Shooting Format: HD Video - Screening Format: DCP - Aspect Ratio: 16x9 - Frame Rate: 24 - Sound: 4-channel (5.1) - Color: Full color.


Ah humanity! reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the age of the Anthropocene. Taking the 3/11/11 disaster of Fukushima as its point of departure, it evokes an apocalyptic vision of modernity, and our predilection for historical amnesia and futuristic flights of fancy. The images were shot on a telephone through a handheld telescope, at once close to and far from its subject, while the audio composition combines empty excerpts from Japanese genbaku and related film soundtracks, audio recordings from seismic laboratories, and location sound.


Castaing-Taylor and Paravel collaborate as anthropologists, artists, and filmmakers in the Sensory Ethnography Laboratory, based in Cambridge, USA, at Harvard University, and in Paris, France. Their work conjugates art's negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life.

Ernst Karel's multidimensional audio work includes electroacoustic improvisation and composition, location recording, and solo and collaborative sound installations. Karel’s audio pieces move between the abstract and the documentary. He works as the Lab Manager for the Sensory Ethnography Lab and has previously collaborated with Castaing-Taylor and Paravel on their 2012 film Leviathan.


New york film festival, October 2015
Nuit Blanche Paris, les Archives Nationales, October 2015
Valdivia International Film Festival 2015
CPH Dox Copenhagen, November 5-15 2015

film ah humanity


Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel, and Ernst Karel.


Excerpts from the films

Black Rain (1989)
Virus (1980)
Japan Sinks (1973)
Minamata : The Victims and Their World (1971)
Navel and A-Bomb (1963)
Gojira (1954)

Laboratory simulations of seismic activity
Alexandre Schubnel, Laboratoire de Géologie, ENS, Paris.

Location recordings from Shimizy, Japan.

Color grading : Patrick Lindenmaier


Co produced by:
F93, centre of scientific, technical and industrial culture in Montreuil France.
Sensory Ethnography Lab, Harvard.

With the support of:

Asia Center
Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
Lasky-Barajas Fund for Digital Arts and Humanities
Harvard University

Postal Address:

Arrete Ton Cinema
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA
02138 USA

© 2015 Ernst Karel, Verena Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor