The sound of insects

Director: Peter Liechti
Running time: 88’ - Switzerland, 2008

Director’s Bio

Peter Liechti was born in St.Gallen in 1951.He studied Art History at the University of Zurich College of Art and Design, were he got a diploma in teaching arts. Since 1986 he has done freelance work in films as scriptwriter, director, producer and cameraman. He has given workshops and materclasses in Geneva, Zurich, Munich, Hamburg, Capetown, Beijing, Dublin, Edinburg...

Contact Director
Peter Liechti

Festival-Screenings - Awards

European Film Award for Best Documentary Prix Arte


Millennium Award, Planete Doc Review


Rotterdan IFF

2009 Visions du Réel

Hot Docs


Planete Doc Review



2008 The sound of insects
2006 Hardcore chambermusic

Namibia crossings


Lucky jack

1997 Martha’s garden
1995 Signer’s suitcase
1991 A hole in the hat
1990 Kick that Habit

Screenplay, Director: Peter Liechti


Narrators: Peter Mettler, Alexander Tschernek


Cinematographer: Matthias Kälin, Peter Liechti, Peter Guyer


Editing: Tania Stöcklin


Sound: Balthasar Jucker


Sound editing, mix: Christian Beusch


Music: Norbert Möslang



The incredible story of how the mummified corpse of a 40-year-old man was discovered by a hunter in one of the most remote parts of the country. The dead man's detailed notes reveal that he actually committed suicide through self-imposed starvation only the summer before. Liechti's film is a stunning rapprochement of a fictional text, which itself is based upon a true event: a cinematic manifesto for life, challenged by the main character’s radical renunciation of life itself.

Based on the novel "miira ni naru made"(How I became a Mummy) by Shimada Masahiko.

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Director’s Statement

X's lack of origin and history, his anonymity is analogous to the general alienation of the human being in a global world; the interchangeability of the negligible "characteristics" of his personality corresponds with the attitude towards life in an out-and-out materialistic society. He only becomes a vital, tangible individual – for himself as well – with his extraordinary capacity for suffering and the monstrous masochism of his act. Suicide by self-imposed starvation is an extremely intimate way to die, X wrote in his diary, because one is preoccupied with oneself for such a long time.

Ultimately, the nameless man’s manner of dying also constitutes the most radical form of renouncement: a total retreat from the hustle and bustle in an achievement-oriented society, the unmitigated refusal to consume, to partake in the haste of this life.