France, Allemagne, Japon, 2017
45 min
HDV – Super8
Directed by Elise Florenty & Marcel Türkowsky

A young woman relates the dream she had right after the suspicious death of a journalist known for working on the Fukushima disaster. As she pauses, an oneiric journey unfolds that entangles her animate surroundings with fragmented facts and rumors about the legendary Hashimoto Experiment from the 70s in which a scientist and his wife tried to teach the Japanese alphabet to a cactus. To manifest the consciousness of plants, they used a lie detector translating their electric output into sound, thus giving them a voice. While the ultimate goal was to make the cactus become a potential witness in the investigation of future crimes, the dream turns into a collective inquiry evolving through a spiral of threatening metamorphoses and mutations.

Part media history, part ghost story, the film interweaves Japanese science, popular culture and tradition, with a defiance of the division between documentary and fiction making the experiment becomes itself object of the film’s incapacity to demystify the Hashimoto legend.

"Eventually something else is more important than the question of wether Hashimoto's findings are valid, wether plants are therefore able to sense, speak or think: the concept of a possible other speech, a post human perspective on the world that the figure of the witness-bearing plant might embodies." Katrin Mund

2017/01 : IFFR Rotterdam, Bright Future Mid Length Section, Netherlands (World Premiere)
2017/02 : Avant-première, Cine 104 Pantin, Paris, France
2017/03 : Inter-Passion, Grimmuseum, Berlin, Germany
2017/04 : European Media Art Festival, Osnarbrück, Germany (winner of the EMAF AWARD)
2017/06 : Terrea Nubilus, Neuer Achener Kunstverein NAK, Germany
2017/10 : Festival dei Popoli, International Competition, Florence, Italy
2017/10 : DocLisboa, Section New Visions, Lisbon, Portugal
2017/11 : Fictions Réelles, Cinéma des Cinéastes I LE BAL, Paris, France
2017/11 : Kasseler DokFest, Kassel, Germany
2017/11 : Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences, Pittsburgh, USA
2017/12 : Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany
2018/01 : Whispering Mimicry, Moviemento Kino, Linz, Austria
2018/03 : Cinema Palace, Altkirsh, France
2018/04 : Cinéma Gue(ho)st House, Cac Synagogue de Delme, France

Ayumi Yoshida
Kabuki Specters: Junpei Sahigashi & Megumi Wakabayashi

Camera/Sound/Editing: Elise Florenty & Marcel Türkowsky
Consultant Editing: Sebastian Bodirsky
Sound Design/Mixing: Gábor Ripli
Music: Canti Illuminati by Alvin Curran, Sonic figures by Marcel Türkowsky
Color grading: Unai Rosende
Post-production director: Michel Balagué

Support from Aide au film court Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis, Aide à la recherche CNAP Florenty Marcel Tuerkowsky Conversation with a Cactus.jpg