‘What you see you shall become’. Used as an epigraph to the film, this quote from the gnostic Gospel of Philip invites us to enter a cyclic and extrasensory universe. Behind Our Eyes introduces in turn the portraits of three solitary individuals living non-conformist lives, from adulthood to teenage years and finally to a childlike state. The first character, a homeless performer wandering the streets of Paris, filmed as a village, was already the subject of Anton Bialas’ previous short film, En son royaume. The second character, a solitary painter who is busy trying to find brief glimpses of beauty (to quote the famous title of Mekas’ film, whose work is akin to the materiality shown in this present film) in the world around us. The final protagonist, a young blind man appears in a series of superimpositions over the forest where he lives.
Nature, perceived as a magic power, prevails in every episode: going beyond being a simple setting, it is a way for the three characters to escape loneliness, in a pantheistic approach. The recurring close-ups on hands performing trivial tasks point to a haptic cinema, in which sight is guided by touch, and camera stays as close as possible to bodies and textures. Anton Bialas makes films that remember what lies behind the eyes of the viewers, creating a viewing experience that is sensitive rather than the sensible.
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