In this century, with the development of science and techniques, it cannot be denied that we get to see very few dead bodies, lesser than any time in the history. If you see even a handful of dead bodies in your lifetime, it is considered ‘unusual’. Yet, in our modern world, we are actually fixated by plenty of morbid pictures of death everywhere. Images of death are everywhere – in horror films, photographs, memorials, television news and graveyards. We get to see images everywhere without any contact with the actual thing. In other words, death is the primary theme in our visual world. The film, To Death and Back, asks us ‘why’? Why are we seeing so much death around; what compels us to get surrounded by such imagery of death.
We get the answer from our past – from a world that was completely preoccupied by many images of the dead and death. The program says that art may depict a different longing for beauty as well as perfection but it is not only limited just to this area. Throughout the vast span of history art has also delved deeply into the ghastly arena of death, brutality and violence. The program talks about a need to explore and discover the motivation which made people create imagery and art. It
The program focuses on the ancient human tendency to encircle ourselves with startling images of death. It had its inception with the Neolithic relics recognized as the Jericho Skulls, the film recognizes a perfect framework of melancholy and death obsession encompassing a broad swathe of the old world. Viewers also see different ghastly stone inscriptions, sculpture and paintings dated back to the Moche and Inca civilization in Peru, the Aztec and Maya in Mexico portraying the notion of the variant uses of death as an artistic representation of life. This film might just help you find an answer to our modern day fixation.
(To Death and Back, DVD, 52 minutes ) ISBN: 978-1-61616-273-3 Copy Right Date: 2005 CC