Synopsis by Mark Deming
The horrific legacy of World War I is explored in unnerving detail in this documentary by Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi. Using vintage newsreel footage and still photographs from Italian archives, Oh! Uomo collects images of war that focus upon the pain and suffering battle inflicts upon the soldiers as well as the innocent bystanders caught up in the conflict, manipulated through printing and editing techniques to increase their impact. Included are shocking images of stacks of dead bodies, soldiers maimed by bombs, and children and veterans being subjected to plastic surgery to repair the damage rent upon their bodies. Oh! Uomo (aka Oh! Man) is the final film in a trilogy of works on World War I from Gianikian and Lucchi; the title and concept was taken from the writings of Leonardo Da Vinci, who believed that forcing people to see the grim facts of war would encourage them to turn away from violence. The film was screened as part of the Directors Fortnight series at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
archival-footage, injury, reconstruction, suffering, totalitarianism, violence, war-atrocities, world-war