Linus Mørk / Denmark / 2023 / 82 min / World Premiere
Join Eske Willerslev on a research tour of the US where 10,000-year-old bones may tell us about the first Americans, but where ethical and personal dilemmas pile up in the Danish professor’s encounters with today’s indigenous peoples.
DNA traces from some 10,000-year-old bones may hold the answers to two of the most debated questions in American history: Who were the first Americans? And how do they relate to today’s indigenous people? Danish professor Eske Willerslev has spent more than 10 years travelling around the US to study the genomic data and what it can tell us about the early humans. A journey in which his encounters with indigenous tribes, who are today fighting to have the remains of their ancestors reburied, forces Willerslev to reconsider his own position and possible biases in his interpretation of the ambiguous data. His objective ideals as a scientist are put to the test in the encounter with the Paiute-Shoshone tribe, where the Danish scientist has a terrifying spiritual experience. ‘Remains’ takes us along for the ride and deep into all the ethical and personal dilemmas involved in researching the history of others.