To Dust: Death and the Necrobiome
Sunday, Feb 3, 2019
Location la: Redstone Theater
Introduced by producers Emily Mortimer and Alessandro Nivola. With director Shawn Snyder, actor Géza Röhrig, and microbiologist Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello in conversation
To Dust. Dir. Shawn Snyder. 2019, 92 mins. With Matthew Broderick and Géza Röhrig. DCP from Good Deed Entertainment. Shmuel, a Hasidic cantor living in upstate New York, is distraught by his wife’s recent death and finds himself obsessing over how her body is decaying six feet underground. (Judaism teaches that the soul cannot rest until the body turns to dust.) Seeking answers, he develops a clandestine partnership with Albert, a community college biology professor. The two embark on an increasingly literal undertaking. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, To Dust is a dark comedy starring Matthew Broderick (You Can Count On Me) and Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul) as an adventurous pair of opposites on an emotionally urgent quest for solace and understanding. This preview screening will be followed by a conversation about life after death from a microbial perspective. View trailer.
About the speakers:
Shawn Snyder is a writer and director. He was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2016. To Dust, which won the Audience Award when it premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, is his debut feature. At Tribeca, Snyder also received the award for Best New Narrative Director. The film has been supported by IFP’s Emerging Storytellers program, NYU’s Alfred P. Sloan First Feature Award, the Tribeca Film Institute’s Sloan Student Grand Jury Prize, and it was selected for the inaugural slate of projects supported the NYU Production Lab. Snyder is a former IFP/Marcie Bloom Fellow, a Sundance Institute Feature Film Fellow, and a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Film Program.
Géza Röhrig is a Hungarian actor best known for starring in the 2015 film Son of Saul, which won the Grand Prix in Cannes, the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, and the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film. Röhrig has two films in post-production: The Chaperone—written by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) about a caretaker for a young Louise Brooks—and Undergods—a science fiction film by Chino Moya. In his spare time, Röhrig has volunteered for the Jewish burial society.
Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello is a Professor of Microbiome and Health at Rutgers. Her research focuses on the development of the human microbiome and its functions, as well as the co-evolution of microbiota and host. Dr. Dominguez-Bello is leading a team of scientists from multiple universities that propose creating a global vault to collect and preserve microbes. She has authored over 100 scientific publications, is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, winner of the Roi Baudouin Award given by the International Foundation for Science, and of the Medal of Merit given by the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research.