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Helena Wittmann Human Flowers of Flesh

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #70. Helena Wittmann’s Human Flowers of Flesh

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #70. Helena Wittmann’s Human Flowers of Flesh

Human Flowers of Flesh

German director Helena Wittmann promises to have an international breakout with sophomore film Human Flowers of Flesh in 2021, a project which was delayed from March to August due to the pandemic (and featured in Locarno’s The Films After Tomorrow program for productions halted by the pandemic). The German-French co-pro features Frank Scheuffele, Karsten Krause, Julia Collen and Christophe Bouffil as producers, and a fantastic array of cast members led by Angeliki Papoulia (of Lanthimos’ Dogtooth, ALPS and The Lobster) and Denis Lavant supported by Vladimir Vulevic, Mauro Soares and Gustavo Jahn. Wittmann’s 2017 debut Drift premiered in Critic’s Week at the Venice Film Festival.

Gist: With a narrative structure inspired by the 1999 Claire Denis classic Beau Travail (which starred Lavant), the film centers on Ida (Papoulia), a woman in her forties who lives with a crew of five men on a sailing yacht. While on shore leave in Marseille, Ida is attracted to exploring the history of the French Foreign Legion and sets a goal to travel across the Mediterranean to the Algerian town of Sidi Bel Abbes, the Legion’s headquarters up until the country gained independence in 1962.

Release Date/Prediction: Wittmann wrapped production in October of 2020, which suggests she could make an appearance at Cannes 2021 in a sidebar or present in Venice 2021.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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