09 20 Oct '24
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Helena Wittmann

Human Flowers of Flesh

Edition 2022
106' - 2022 - Drama - Dialogue: Portuguese, French, Berber, Serbo-Croatian, English
Director: Helena Wittmann Composer: Nika Son With: Denis Lavant, Angeliki Papoulia, Gustavo Jahn
If Odysseus had been a legionnaire, Human Flowers of Flesh would have depicted his poetic wanderings over land and sea. German filmmaker Helena Wittmann preserves the mystery and meekly allows you to experience this story of all times and all places.

"I remember the boredom, the heat, the dust." That's how a soldier describes his time in the French Foreign Legion in Human Flowers of Flesh. "Everyone's looking for closeness and other bodies." That experience is shared by the five-member crew of a sailing yacht and their captain – played by Greek actress Angeliki Papoulia, known from the films by Yorgos Lanthimos. Fascinated by the legionnaires, her contemporary odyssey begins in Marseille. The personal merges with the collective in a hypnotic and sensual journey through space, language and time. In the footsteps of Claire Denis' Beau Travail (1999), actor Denis Lavant appears in his soldiers' boots. Director-screenwriter Helena Wittmann shot the film herself on 16mm film. Her second feature is of a great sensory and almost mythical beauty.

"There’s something wholly intoxicating and immersive to Helena Wittmann’s awesomely-named second feature, Human Flowers of Flesh – a towering, teetering and exquisitely-wrought puzzle box whose every shot invites the viewer to play a game of cool subtextual interpretation." - Little White Lies

Image gallery

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Helena Wittmann


Nika Son


Denis Lavant, Angeliki Papoulia, Gustavo Jahn


Helena Wittmann

Director of Photography

Helena Wittmann


Helena Wittmann


Christophe Bouffil-Cantoni, Birgit Glombitza, Karsten Krause, Frank Scheuffele

Production studios


More information


Portuguese, French, Berber, Serbo-Croatian, English

Countries of production

Germany, France




Helena Wittmann
Alles ist leise. (short, 2005), The Air Today (short, 2009), Mimikry (short, 2009), 102 PS (short, 2009), Kreisen (short, 2011), The Wild (short 2013), 21,3 °c (short, 2014), Drift (2017), Ada Kaleh (short, 2018), Human Flowers of Flesh (2022)

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