Who is Man on Earth and what happened to him?

Today Flood Projects announces the World Premiere of its powerfully intimate documentary MAN ON EARTH from Cannes, Sundance & Venice awarded filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson, offering a powerfully intimate portrait of one man’s choice for voluntary assisted death.

The new feature length documentary from the internationally acclaimed Australian director Amiel Courtin-Wilson is premiering in International Competition at Sheffield DocFest 2022 on 26th June.

Produced by Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Alice Jamieson-Dowd and John Baker, edited by Oscar nominated Peter Sciberras (The Power of the Dog), cinematography by Jacqueline Fitzgerald (True Detective, The King); co-produced by Chris Luscri, associate produced by Faith Guoga and executive produced by Sophie Hyde and Michael McMahon, MAN ON EARTH is the story of one man making peace with his family, the love of his life and himself, right up until he takes his last breath:

“Love the one you’re with. If you love the one you’re with you will be true to your heart.”
– Bob Rosenzweig

Director Amiel Courtin-Wilson’s feature films have screened and won awards at Venice Film Festival (HAIL, 2011 RUIN, 2013) Cannes (CICADA, 2009) and Sundance (CHASING BUDDHA, 2000). Amiel is also a visual artist and recently received the prestigious career achievement and innovation Byron Kennedy Award in Australia – previous winners of this Award include Jane Campion and Baz Luhrmann.

Shot in Washington State in 2019, the film follows unexpectedly funny 65 year old Jewish New Yorker Bob who decides to end his own life after years of living with Parkinson’s disease and is a unique and impeccably crafted piece of documentary cinema.

Bob has lived fearlessly – he snuck off to Woodstock at 15, hung out with Blondie and the Sex Pistols and ended up designing bathrooms for Elton John, Janet Jackson and Versace. But when we meet him, Bob is being cared for by one of his sons. Trapped in a world of pain and unrelenting movement, he has decided to utilise the Death with Dignity law.

With Bob’s working-class irreverence and infectious outlook on life guiding the overarching tragedy of his circumstances, Courtin-Wilson’s film offers a powerful and unprecedented depiction of voluntary dying. The film blends a real time observational documentary style following a countdown of Bob’s last days with highly intimate direct to camera interviews.

Given the opportunity to tell his story in the last week of his life, Bob’s lust for life, love and the universe leads audiences through a symphony of emotion, stories and passion that is palpable and deeply immersive.

Informed by Herzog’s edict “We must create new images or perish”, MAN ON EARTH depicts an actual death on screen in a compassionate and contemplative manner and is the opposite of what you expect from a documentary about the last seven days of someone’s life. Bob’s incandescent passion and honesty will change how you live your life. MAN ON EARTH is a cinematic journey with an unforgettable human being. Bob will stay with you forever.

Director Amiel Courtin-Wilson said: “We are honoured to be a part of Sheffield DocFest’s prestigious Official Competition this year. A story of what it means to face death with humour, joy and love and inspired in part by Werner Herzog’s idea that filmmakers must strive to create new types of images, MAN ON EARTH is a profound celebration of life – a funny, intimate story about an unforgettable human being Bob Rosenzweig.

Impeccably crafted by a remarkable team of Academy Award Winners and nominees, MAN ON EARTH is an entirely unexpected journey that will change how you live your life.

The film features music by Oscar winner Nicolas Becker (ARRIVAL, GRAVITY), sound design by Oscar winner Robert Mackenzie (HACKSAW RIDGE, THE GRANDMASTER) and editing by Oscar nominee Peter Sciberras (THE POWER OF THE DOG, THE KING).

Flood Projects have exhibited at The Whitney Museum, The Museum of Natural History in New York, National Gallery of Victoria, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Old and New Art, The Barbican, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and toured extensively across Asia among many others. They have several other projects in various stages of production, including TRACES – an epic visual poem shot entirely using thermal imaging that takes audiences on a journey through the protean cycles of life and death.

MAN ON EARTH marks the filmmaker’s fourth documentary feature film as well as the only Australian feature film selected in Sheffield’s International Competition category. The film screens twice on 26th of June and 28th June as part of Sheffield DocFest 2022. See the official selection here

Sheffield DocFest Screenings:

  • Sun 26 June 20:45 – The Light – Screen 9 + Q&A
  • Tues 28 June 15:30 – Curzon – Screen 1 + Q&A