- 63 min.
- russian, english, french, dutch
A surfeit of bile, said the ancient Greek physicians, can lead both to physical disorders (gallstones) and mental health problems (melancholy). Ira A. Goryainova, the director of this intimate essay on the human body, health, disease and death, can vouch for this from personal experience. The leitmotif is her search for the cause of her own health problems—she probes deeply, sometimes quite literally—and the history of her mother, who died of cancer, seen through family home videos in post-Soviet Russia. Using historical archive footage and philosophical reflections, Goryainova shows how in different cultures and eras people have looked—or avoided looking—at the human body, health and disease. With self-knowledge, frankness and curiosity, the filmmaker explores how we can learn to view ourselves and our diseases—including diseases in our societies, such as fascism, the cancer of the 20th century.