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Retrospective of Peter Mettler: State of Expanded Cinematic Vision


Take a trip to the unique film space-time inhabited by the infinite imagination of Canadian director Peter Mettler; a filmmaker pushing the borders of documentary and experimental film with each new film; an audiovisual artist who is not afraid to explore the fundamental philosophical questions of modern civilization by means of images. Get carried away to the world of expanded cinematic vision and watch Mettler’s online retrospective from April 21 to May 4 at DAFilms.com!

Already Mettler’s first student film SCISSERE from 1982 does not leave anyone in the dark about the fact that a young talented filmmaker has entered the scene. Following the first moments of a former psychiatric patient’s return to the society, the experimental film based on optical illusions has received the Norman McLaren Prize. The following works by Mettler, too, have generously drawn upon the innovative means of expression of the film language. His early film EASTERN AVENUE can be seen as a specific form of an improvised audiovisual diary from his European travels. On the contrary, his later GAMBLING, GODS AND LSD lacks any clear narrative form. The camera succumbs to the intuitive merging of the individual images, alluding to the problems and phenomena of modern culture.

However, it is not just experimental visual and narrative approaches that Peter Mettler employs in his films. To him, the very film medium is a means of creating an experiment of his own. For instance, in PICTURE OF LIGHT, which has won the main award at Toronto’s Hot Docs festival, he sets out to observe the aurora, which becomes a metaphor for the search for the original relationship between man and nature. The dependence of the present society on oil wealth is discussed in PETROPOLIS, untraditionally recorded from a bird’s eye view. Last but not least, the retrospective also includes the filmmaker’s latest “experiment”, the cinematic essay THE END OF TIME from 2012 dedicated to the theme of time.

Explore the possibilities of the film medium as well as the possibilities of your own perception in the online retrospective of films by Peter Mettler from April 21 to May 4 at DAFilms.com for free.

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Films for the event



Balifilm (Orig.) / 1997 / Canada / 28 min

Mettler brings us into the world of the mystical and the unconscious through his exploration of this extraordinary culture.


picture of light_1

Picture of Light

Picture of Light (Orig.) / 1994 / Canada / 83 min

An hallucinatory tale which documents a filmmaker’s journey to Canada’s arctic in search of the Northern Lights.




Scissere (Orig.) / 1982 / Canada / 83 min

While deploying a seemingly inexhaustible repertoire of optical effects, Scissere renders the experiences of a mental patient who wanders outside his institutional confines for the first time in many years. He imagines himself inside the sensibilities of three people he randomly spots at a bus station.



Eastern Avenue

Eastern Avenue (Orig.) / 1985 / Canada / 87 min

An exploration of intuition, using film as a kind of audio-visual improvisation. The structure and innate "story" of the film were formed by the chronology of experiences and perceptions that emerged from a journey to Berlin, Portugal and Switzerland.



Gambling, Gods and LSD

Gambling, Gods and LSD (Orig.) / 2002 / Canada, Switzerland / 180 min

A filmmaker’s inquiry into transcendence becomes a three-hour trip across countries and cultures, interconnecting people, places and times.




Petropolis (Orig.) / 2009 / Canada / 43 min

An extraordinary spectacle, whose scope can only be understood from far above.




Away (Orig.) / 2007 / Canada / 3 min

The filmmaker of this short documentary used his cellphone camera to shoot these scenes in Costa Rica. He reflects on the dichotomy of nature versus technology. Part of the MobiDOCS: Confessions in a Digital Age series.



The End of Time

The End of Time (Orig.) / 2012 / Canada, Switzerland / 109 min

THE END OF TIME, at once personal, rigorous and visionary, Peter Mettler has crafted a film as compelling and magnificent as its subject.





“My work has two strands: the first one deals with direct political images of violence, aggression and protest, mostly in Israeli-Palestinian context. It’s critique of news media, researching the complex, both realistic and surrealistic aspects of these images. The second strand of videos is more abstract and universal, dealing with cognitive, environmental and existential issues,” says the director about his works.

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