Body of God

Body of God is the first documentary ever to depict the history of modern body modification from its start in the early 1940s until its worldwide breakthrough in the 90s.
Country: Finland Runtime: 69' Director(s): Jouni Hokkanen Writer(s): Jouni Hokkanen Producer(s): John Hakalax, Jouni Hokkanen DOP: Jussi Käkkis Arhinmäki Cast: Fakir Musafar, Jim Ward, Paul King Print Source: Otto Suuronen Original Format: DVCAM
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Screening – February 10th 3pm to 6:20pm

“It isn’t just medical, it isn’t just artistic, it isn’t just decorative; there’s more going on here.”

When many people hear the term ‘body modification’, they are likely to associate it with contemporary imagery and icons. While body modification may be conceptually modern, it is certainly not so in practice. Documented in three parts, Body of God starts from the beginning; that is with Fakir Musafar, known as the father of the modern primitive movement. Born in 1930, Musafar reflects upon his feelings of alienation in his small, conservative hometown as a child, and his experimentation with self-piercing, suspension, and tattooing.

Body of God is an informative piece of work, told entirely from the perspective of its subjects, who provide a frank and fascinating insight into body modification culture. Part of its success as a documentary can be attributed to its lack of judgement and over-analysis. The wide historical and cultural perspectives considered, from Native American tradition, through to the 1950s, followed by its introduction into mainstream culture in the 1990s, make this an insightful and enjoyable watch. However, the fainthearted are advised to approach with caution!

Katie Baldock