CH 2004 80'
How is it possible for body and mind to exist as an integrated whole? The Chilean neurobiologist Francisco Varela devoted his entire life from childhood to death to answer this question. The structure of the film is based on Varela's non-linear thinking and focuses on autopoiesis, ethics, consciousness, meditation and dying. The film also includes narrative accounts and reflections from Varela himself, his relatives, leading scientists, friends and thinkers, such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Heinz von Foerster as the father of cybernetics, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Evan Thompson, Anne Harrington, Humberto Maturana etc. Three key concepts shape the film: the relationship between body and mind (embodiment), the meaning of self responsibility (autonomy) and spirituality.
"Franz Reichle begins this cinematic portrait of Francisco Varela with Schroedinger's famousquestion, What is Life? This question also preoccupied Varela as a scientist, but Reichlesubtly and surely transforms it into another, far more compelling concern, namely, What is alife? The film follows Varela through his many achievements, but it achieves its mission mostpowerfully with Varela's rapprochement with death. Here, in this journey, Varela finds themeaning of his life as a man, and Reichle finds his film. A powerful and beautifulachievement."
Evelyn Fox Keller