The Perfect Human

Posted on March 28, 2011


The Perfect Human, directed by Jorgen Leth in 1967 depicts a man and a woman “functioning” in a plain, white room. The detached narration and lack of scenery or objects almost makes the viewer feel like an observer in some sort of human zoo. The white room, though seemingly endless, had the qualities of a cage or some sort of display. The narrator’s descriptions and repetition of the words “the perfect human” made me feel almost  inhuman. And the way that the narrator spoke almost felt like he had control over what the humans did. The humans carry out mundane tasks but the film is anything but boring. There is definitely a hidden tension behind these two people.

The narrator asks the viewer questions about the actions of the human, which causes the viewer to not look at the individual humans placed before us, but at the human race as a whole. When asked “How does he fall?” we are shown how the perfect human falls, but are really faced with a deeper question to ponder. The descriptions of the humans gets less physical and more about their mental state, about what they are thinking and feeling. In the end, we are left wondering what might make a person “perfect,” and realize that it’s impossible to tell.

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