Quick Film Guide – Above and Below (Nicolas Steiner, 2015)

Above and Below
Directed by Nicolas Steiner
Switzerland, Germany

Nicolas Steiner’s staggering directorial debut is an ambitious, lyrical documentary following the lives of three New York City homeless people living on the margins of society whether by will or by force. While the three people never meet, Above and Below forms a metaphysical connection between them that enhances their embodiment of determination of the human instinct of survival.

Above and Below blends the boundaries between documentary and fiction. It uses a creative filmmaking language, using linear narrative sparingly to tell the story of its protagonists but allowing a deeper connection with them seasonally. Steiner achieves this thanks to a stunning work of cinematography, sculptural editing and a hypnotic musical score that encourages the viewer’s immersion in their world in a powerful, meditative experience.

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