How is it possible for body and mind to exist as an integrated whole? the Chilean neurobiologist Francisco Varela devoted his entire life – from childhood to death – to answering this question. The structure of the film is based on Varela’s non-linear thinking and focuses on autopoiesis, ethics, consciousness, meditation and dying. The film also includes narrative accounts and reflections from Varela himself, his relatives, leading scientists, friends and thinkers, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Heinz von Foerster (the father of cybernetics), jean-pierre dupuy, Evan Thompson, Anne Harrington, humberto maturana etc. Three key concepts shape the film: the relationship between body and mind (embodiment), the meaning of self responsibility (autonomy) and spirituality.

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birdsnest_poster_150Documentary, CH 2004, 80′, color, 35mm

Director Franz Reichle

Original version: English, Spanish, German, French