The Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy (2010)

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Movie Info

Japanese novelist Shimada Masahiko based his novel Until I Am a Mummy on the true story of a man who chose a truly unusual way to end his life -- he traveled by himself to a remote corner of the woods, built a small tent from plastic sheeting, and slowly starved himself to death, allowing nature to gradually rob him of his life. No one knew of his plans until a hunter happened upon his dead body, with insects the only witness to the passing he so desired. Filmmaker Peter Liechti fuses fiction and documentary in Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy, which uses passages from Masahiko's novel as narration while Liechti creates a artful but realistic recreation of the stranger's suicide as he records his thoughts in journals, revels in his loneliness, hallucinates, and anticipates his final hours with both enthusiasm and dread. Canadian director Peter Mettler provides narration for the English-language version of the film, while Alexander Tschernek lends his voice to the German-language edition. Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy was an official selection at the 2009 Hot Docs International Film Festival.

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Cast

Peter Mettler
as Narrator
Doraine Green
as Narrator
Nikola Weisse
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for The Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

The narrator's calm recitation quickly progresses from interesting to irritating to oppressive.

Full Review… | December 22, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

Without additional context surrounding its subject's life, sharing the man's final excruciating moments eventually devolves into an exercise in morbidity, an experience considerably more ponderous than profound.

Full Review… | December 21, 2010
Village Voice
Top Critic

Surprisingly not macabre, this fictionalized record of self-aggrandizement through self-destruction reminds one of Derek Jarman's Blue in its epistolary delivery and its displacement of meaning to that which is never really shown.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011
Slant Magazine

The dead come back to life, sort of.

Full Review… | December 23, 2010
Monsters and Critics

Audience Reviews for The Sound of Insects: Record of a Mummy

½

Maybe there's something to be said about a person who can sit through a vapid recitation of supposedly real diary entries from a man who went into the woods to die of starvation accompanied by useless, uninteresting visuals and come away with nothing but a reinvigorated adoration for big, fat ham sandwiches.

Regan Campbell
Regan Campbell

Atmospheric and impressionistic. The mummy-to-be is thoughtful but vague, almost too vague. The secret of success lay in the drama. Yes, you read correctly: drama. Although, how the filmaker manages to extend the "action" as long as he did is a mystery in itself. I think the work is masterful in that it got me to go along for the ride and I was involved, for the most park. One thing that bothers me is the nagging suspicion that this "true" story is a fake after all.

Michael Marko
Michael Marko

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