A former prison cook undertakes to reconstruct one of the final meals he prepared for a prisoner before execution. It is around this event that the comments and testimony of the prisoners and guards in the film revolve, as they become part of this gloomy history, permeated by a sense of approaching death. The film's concept, reminiscent of a TV cooking show, combines documentary material and a consistent stylisation, iconic installations and animation (doc-meets-installation-art-pie).
The film is not just a descent into history, recalling how in Ancient Greece food was intended to fortify a person to make their final journey, but is also an excursion across cultures: we set out to the edge of the afterlife in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and South Africa. Thousands of people in the United States meanwhile await their last suppers. This symbolic feast is the source of imagination, and thus in the film the hungry spirits of Thai myth are brought to life and images are inspired by Jesus's sacrifice - this is my body, I give it up for you.
The film also moves through reflections on what place the death penalty and the ritual attached to it occupy in the era of "biopower" (which, according to Foucault, for the first time places emphasis on life instead of just decisions about death), what role does execution play in the existing system of penal institutions, and whether the symbolic power of capital punishment corresponds to the advanced social structure of Western society.
(Petr Kubica - IDFF Jihlava)
The partner of the screening is International Documentary Film Festival Jihlava.