The artists Marina Abramović, Sigalit Landau, Katharina Sieverding, and Shirin Neshat have been influenced and politicized by their personal experiences of war, violence, and oppression in their respective countries of origin.

These experiences infiltrate their works – and are transformed into art. These artists’ means of expression is the most intimate medium they possess: their own bodies.

In BODY OF TRUTH, we accompany four artists on an emotional journey through their biographies, chronicling the connections and parallels among them. The four women come from four different cultures. Their life stories have been impacted by political conflicts, private wounds, and emotions that have, in turn, strongly influenced their artistic work. They stand for the major conflicts of our time: Iranian exile Shirin Neshat examines the discrepancies within Islamic society; Marina Abramović, the daughter of Montenegrin partisans, has repeatedly explored the issues of violence, pain, and grief, as experienced indirectly in the Yugoslav wars; the German Katharina Sieverding examines the problem of fascist structures, from the Nazi era to Pegida; and Israeli artist Sigalit Landau’s work draws on the quotidian fear of terror.

In a world characterized by profound uncertainty, the increasing threat of terrorism, civil wars, and refugee crises, these four artists redefine the frontiers by staging their bodies in a language as precise as it is poetic.

Their art challenges us to develop new perspectives and awareness, deepening our understanding of the issues of our times. Does history repeat itself? Are violence and the craving for power an imperative of human nature? Can art help us to better understand our highly complex world?

BODY OF TRUTH aims to convey a clearer understanding of contemporary art within the context of its political dimension and shows its awareness-raising power; beyond that, the film also seeks to make these works accessible to audiences on the emotional level.


“BODY OF TRUTH” on Facebook

Documentary by Evelyn Schels
Germany, 2019, 92 Min, DCP


INDI FILM GmbH, DokLab GmbH (Switzerland)

MFG regional fund Baden-Württemberg
FFF regional fund Bavaria
MBB Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

Channel 8 (Israel)
SRF (Switzerland)

Filmfest Hamburg 28.09.2019
DOC NYC: 14.11.2019
Kasseler DOK Fest: 15.11.2019