Jay Rosenblatt Films - Locomotion Films
The Kodachrome Elegies When You Awake The Darkness of Day The Claustrum The D Train Phantom Limb Human Remains The Smell of Burning Ants King of the Jews Period Piece I Just Wanted to Be Somebody Beginning Filmmaking I Used to Be a Filmmaker The Films of Jay Rosenblatt - Vol 1 The Films of Jay Rosenblatt - Vol 2
Human Remains
a film about the banality of evil

Written and directed by Jay Rosenblatt
30 minutes • 16mm• color/B&W • 1998

Winner of 27 Awards (including Sundance)

“HUMAN REMAINS stares evil in its altogether human face. As brilliant a film as its subject is chilling."
–Bill Nichols, Professor of Cinema, S.F. State University

Human Remainsis a haunting documentary which illustrates the banality of evil by creating intimate portraits of five of the 20th century's most reviled dictators. The film unveils the personal lives of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Francisco Franco and Mao Tse Tung. We learn the private and mundane details of their everyday lives -- their favorite foods, films, habits and sexual preferences. There is no mention of their public lives or of their place in history. The intentional omission of the horrors for which these men were responsible hovers over the film.

Human Remains addresses this horror from a completely different angle. Irony and even occasional humor are sprinkled throughout the documentary. This darkly poetic film is based entirely on fact, creatively combining direct quotes and biographical research. Though based on historical figures, Human Remains is contemporary in its implications and ultimately invites the viewer to confront the nature of evil.


“HUMAN REMAINS stares evil in its altogether human face. As brilliant a film as its subject is chilling."
- Bill Nichols, Professor of Cinema, S.F. State University, Author of Ideology and the Image

“HUMAN REMAINS will prove to be a valuable classroom resource. No viewer will leave the film unchanged.”
- Ernest Giglio, Professor of Politics & American Studies, Lycoming College

“This film should be required viewing wherever the complexities of human evil, and the artistic evocation of those complexities are discussed.”
-Don Fredericksen, Director, Undergraduate Program in Film, Cornell University

“The first time I saw this film I was speechless. Everywhere HUMAN REMAINS was programmed it shook up viewers and opened up discussions.”
- Heidi Lobato, Director, Amnesty International Film Festival


Distinguished Documentary Award, International Documentary Association, 1998
Best Short Film, Hamptons International Film Festival, 1998
Best Documentary, Aspen Shortsfest, 1998
Grand Prize, Documentary, Vila do Conde Short Film Festival, Portugal, 1998
Best Documentary, Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival, 1998
Grand Jury Prize, Best Short Documentary, Florida Film Festival, 1998
Best Short Film, Cinequest San Jose Film Festival, 1999
Jury Award, Sundance Film Festival, 1998
Grand Prize, Documentary, Vila do Conde Short Film Festival, Portugal
Best American Film, BBC British Short Film Festival
Juror's Choice Award (top award), Black Maria Film & Video Festival
Best Documentary, CinemaTexas
Best Nouvelle/Experimental Film, Odense Film Festival, Denmark, 1998
Best of Festival & Audience Award, Onion City Film Festival, Chicago, 1998
Best Experimental Film, Humboldt International Film Festival, 1998
Juror's Choice, Charlotte Film & Video Festival, 1998
Best Experimental Film, Marin County Fair Film Festival, 1998
SECA Award, Museum of Modern Art, SF, 1998
Silver Award, Experimental, Chicago Underground Film Festival, 1998
Honorable Mention, Palm Springs International Short Film Festival, 1998
Second Place, Documentary, New York Film Expo
Honorable Mention, Ann Arbor Film Festival
Honorable Mention, Carolina Film & Video Festival
Honorable Mention, Central Florida Film & Video Festival
Bronze Apple, National Educational Media Network
Gold Award, TV Special/Documentary, Worldfest Flagstaff
Special Mention, Medfilm Festival, Rome


Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany
International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam
Visions du Reel, Nyon, Switzerland
Flaherty Film Seminar, NY
Bilbao Documentary Film Festival, Spain
Mumbai Film Festival, India
Goteburg Film Festival, Sweden
Viper Film Festival, Switzerland
IMPAKT Experimental Festival, The Netherlands
European Media Art Festival, Osnabruck, Germany
San Francisco International Film Festival, CA
Athens Film & Video Festival, OH
Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, PA
Minneapolis Film Festival, MN
St. Petersburg Film Festival, Russia
Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia
New Zealand Film Festival, Wellington & Aukland
Hamburg International Short Film Festival, Germany
Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, Brazil
Parnu International Documentary Festival, Estonia
Split Film Festival, Croatia
Seattle International Film Festival, WA
Film Arts Festival, San Francisco
Big Muddy Film Festival, IL
Cleveland International Film Festival, OH
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, CA
Amnesty International Film Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
BBC British Short Film Festival, London, UK
BRVO Film Festival, Braunschweig, Germany
Image Forum, Tokyo, Japan
Vancouver International Film Festival, Canada
One Reel Film Festival, Seattle, WA
Mill Valley Film Festival, CA
Montreal Festival of New Cinema, Canada
Visible Evidence Conference, San Francisco, CA
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Arkansas
DOCtober, Los Angeles - 1 week theatrical run
Amnesty International, Helsinki, Finland
Brest Film Festival, France
exground Film Festival, Germany
Boston Jewish Film Festival
Washington Jewish Film Festival
Northwest Film Center, Portland, OR
Denver International Film Festival
Berkshire Jewish Film Festival
Siena International Short Film Festival, Italy
Festival of Festivals, Denmark
Brighton Jewish Film Festival, England
MedFilm Festival-Laboratory, Rome
Hong Kong International Film Festival
INPUT conference, Halifax, Canada
Bilbao Film Festival, Spain
Sonoma County Film Festival
Magnolia Film Festival, MS
Castro Movie Theater, San Francisco, CA (2 day run)
Film Forum, New York (one-week run)
Roxie Cinema, SF (one-week run)
Fine Arts Theatre, Berkeley (one-week run)
Rafael Film Center, San Rafael (one-week run)
Varsity Theater, Seattle (one-week run)
Facets Theatre, Chicago (one-week run)
Singapore Film Festival
Contra Costa Jewish Film Festival
Brooklyn Jewish Film Festival
Walker Art Center


Written, directed, edited, photographed & produced by Jay Rosenblatt
Co-produced by The Danish Film Institute Workshop
Completion funding provided by Film Arts Foundation
Associate producer, optical printing & assistant editing: John Turk
Creative consultant: Jennifer Frame
Script & editing consultants: Ellen Bruno, Caveh Zahedi & Harvey Schwartz
Voice-over talent: Karl-Heinz Teuber. Adrian Morgan, Pierangelo Peri, Chris Cook, Daniel Bojckov, Charles Girdham, Jose Carballado, Shantinayaka, Wu Ming & Paramabodhi.


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