From the mind of Yorick Niess, comes the feature length docu-fiction titled ‘The World Cruzer’. Chronicling the journey of a man on a unique mission to save the planet, the 105 minute film is an auteur driven production from start to end and features a boastful combination of stunning visuals and contemporary electronic music from Berlin clubs.
“The film is also unorthodox; arthouse directors rarely go the route Niess has chosen to go with The World Cruzer and the result is an astoundingly original piece of art.”
Experiencing the film for the first time, it is a completely different experience than audiences are used to and several words come to mind to describe it. The film is certainly experimental, as the narrative choices and plot progression is unlike anything seen in both documentary and genre films.
The film is also unorthodox; arthouse directors rarely go the route Niess has chosen to go with The World Cruzer and the result is an astoundingly original piece of art. The film can also be defined as radical; using a rarely used narrative medium to apprise the humanity of the peril of coming calamities if the planet is not saved in time. Audiences will marvel at the originality of what they are witnessing onscreen while simultaneously relating to the peril and conundrum at display.
The genre of docu-fiction certainly provides its makers significant narrative leeway owing to the fictionalised elements presented in a documentary fashion. Niess realises the advantages that the genre offers for his tale and his unique take on the subject matter is thus a triumph in its own right. We have already seen countless documentaries on saving the planet but approaching the subject matter from a docu-fiction perspective provides a heart and soul to the entire central conundrum.
This certainly makes the subject matter much more emotionally relevant to the viewers and therefore the masses are able to connect to the narrative much more clearly. Kudos to Niess for choosing to go this route for his work as it might alienate some but on the other hand, might totally impress most modern moviegoers.
This may, in turn, lead to viewing the entire film as a microcosm of the human experience itself. With life’s little joys and intricacies providing inspiration, it is not hard to see the film for what it is; a celebration of life and a comment on our collective potential if we set aside our differences and truly move to change our condition for the better. Good docu-fiction employs human imagination to further a true yet interesting subject while great docu-fiction manages to put forth a mirror to the audience itself, revealing the often contradictory nature of ourselves.
Niess’s work, is therefore, somewhere between good and great; he knows the genre and has thus created a work of art that goes beyond what it, on a rudimentary level, is supposed to do.
From a cinematographic perspective, the film is a sight to behold. Niess masterfully mixes new footage shot for the documentary with stock footage and CGI, contributing to the psychedelic journey that audiences take with the protagonist in their quest to save the planet.
The way communication between the characters is depicted on screen, in the form of text message boxes, also adds to the story in a meaningful way. In addition, the film breaks narrative cohesion to overwhelm the audiovisual senses using pulsating music and repeated looping monologues, which adds to the avant garde nature of the entire production. These repeating loops and psychedelic music aids in viewing the film as a form of a meditation upon the central message of saving the planet.
“A beautiful adventure that is stunning in any number of ways, The World Cruzer is a completely different experience than most moviegoers are used to.”
Perhaps one of the greatest strengths of the entire production is its music. The electronic club music blends in with the expansive visuals perfectly. From the CGI overload of symmetrical patterns to different aspects of beautiful stock footage that perfectly blends in with the overarching narrative, the music gives every second of visuals an unparalleled weight. It also helps the audience gaze being glued to the screen as this beautiful assault on our senses is like a dopamine hit, one keeps wanting it more and more.
Despite being an oddity from any number of perspectives, The World Cruzer works. From its stunning CGI opening scenes to its mesmerising visuals, the film sucks you right in. The fantastic German voice over works its magic and the journey of the protagonist to save the planet from imminent destruction is hard to ignore. Whether you are moved or unmoved by the end of the film, one aspect is clear; Niess has succeeded in presenting an age-old concept in a completely new way and he must be applauded for this success.
A beautiful adventure that is stunning in any number of ways, The World Cruzer is a completely different experience than most moviegoers are used to. Using unique narrative tools, the film gets its message across beautifully. Crisp visuals and an unrelenting club soundtrack elevate the entire experience and the film needs to be seen on the biggest screen possible to truly appreciate the audacious level of art that has gone into its production. Certainly the most different film I have seen, The World Cruzer gets full marks for its originality and its unparalleled technical aspects.
About the director – Yorick Niess
As a media producer Yorick started to produce movies at the age of 12. Since 1994 he professionally worked as a journalist, TV-producer and Editor on around 10.000 broadcast Features.
In 2002 he became a Training Supervisor IHK for the profession digital media designer. He has worked on several international documentaries about the Middle East, Africa and Tibet. As a Master of International Negotiation and Policy-Making INP, Geneva 2010, he seeks to improve biodiversity and social matters on a daily basis.