In His Bold Gaze
A film project by Bernardo Zanotta
Production: near/by film
In His Bold Gaze draws on a tragedy taken from real life. The film uses cinematic cliches to delve into the tale of Armin Meiwes - computer engineer from Rotenburg, Germany - who in 2001 found a victim willing to be devoured at the early-internet forum Cannibal Café.
At a visual level, In His Bold Gaze explores the aesthetics of home video and early-digital apparatus through the use of consumer-grade, readily available video cameras. Armin Meiwes’ himself was an amateur documentarist, and his mother’s old house in Rotenburg was the stage where he would capture fragments of his life on tape. These video tapes belong to the German authorities, and the only proof of their existence are a series of screenshots leaked on the internet after his arrest.
Zanotta frames Meiwes' story under the perspective of the Hitchcockian male hero to whom the maternal superego blocks access to a 'normal' sexual relation. Just like Norman Bates, Armin Meiwes lived alone in a countryside manor with his over controlling mother, who preached to him that sexual intercourse was sinful and that all women were whores.
The film is the second volume of Zanotta’s Cannibal Trilogy: three experimental works which draw reference to the shared history between cannibalism and homosexuality.
Heart of Hunger, the first volume, won a Silver Leopard at the International Short Competition of the 71st Locarno Film Festival and is now screening in festivals and venues in Europe and abroad. The third volume, Wild Fruits, is also currently in development by near/By film, to be released in 2020.