Eduardo Williams picks up where 2016’s The Human Surge left off, this time following three groups of friends from Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Peru as they traverse a shapeshifting landscape rooted in our present reality but alert to alternative possibilities.
The Human Surge 3
The Human Surge 3 is the thrilling follow-up to Eduardo Williams’ acclaimed feature debut, The Human Surge (Wavelengths, 2016), in which the Argentinian filmmaker continues his exploration of social connection by way of travel and technology. There is no The Human Surge 2: leaping from 1 to 3 is simply one example of the film’s myriad challenges to established logics and regimen. Similarly utopian in its speculative refutation of gender, language, and borders, Williams’ film is a hypnotic feat of contemporary image-making, inviting a novel mode of spectatorship.
Spiral-like in form, falling endlessly forward while simultaneously circling back through repeated locations, social arrangements, and phrases, the film begins as three groups of friends from Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Peru drift through their own harsh and disorienting environments. Gradually, they begin to share each other’s spaces and dreams, culminating in a collective march.
Dazzling in structure and form, the film was shot using a 360-degree camera Williams describes as “a machine, a human and an alien.” Retrofitted for the cinema, the resulting images inhabit a woozy, porous space between reality, fantasy, waking life, and the oneiric. It’s an aesthetic owed both to the filmmaker’s singular vision and the various forms of representation saturating our field of vision — be they videogames, social media, or cinema as spectacle and art form — here democratized. As with its predecessor, Williams is unflinching about global woes of wealth disparity, environmental catastrophe, and exhaustion, but here imagines alternative ways of living, rethinking the vast possibilities of the world through new practices of seeing, hearing, and being together.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival