Tate Modern Film

Eduardo Williams: The Human Surge

Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist, Ruda Cine and Un Puma

​Watch as youth connect accross the world through their shared pressures and desires 

We are pleased to host the UK premiere of Argentine-born, Paris-based filmmaker Eduardo Williams’ The Human Surge. Winner of the Filmmakers of the Present award at the 2016 Locarno Film Festival, the twenty-nine-year old filmmaker’s debut feature carries through the fresh and intuitive approach to casting, shooting and editing for which his short films have been praised. Using intentionally amateur tracking shots and outlandish transitions between storylines, The Human Surge connects disaffected youth in Argentina, Mozambique and the Philippines through a shared search for fulfilment beyond the mundanity, and often precarity, of routine jobs.

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Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge 2016, trailer. Courtesy the artist, Ruda Cine and Un Puma

Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist, Ruda Cine and Un Puma

Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist, Ruda Cine and Un Puma

Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge 2016, film still. Courtesy the artist, Ruda Cine and Un Puma

Working with non-professional actors, Williams’ films largely focus on groups of characters framed with their built, social and online environments. Opting for medium and wide shots that are filmed and re-filmed on a variety of different cameras, his approach encourages viewers to scan different areas of the frame, to situate characters in their surroundings and to experience the image’s migration across various media. Technology – specifically internet connectivity, manufacturing production lines, social media, technocapitalism and the cybersex economy, and analogue and digital recording media ­– plays a key role in the film, not only producing its various aesthetic textures but connecting and alienating its characters. Strongly inflected by the uncertainty and improvisation that come with shooting in foreign countries and languages, Williams’ film palpably asserts a sensibility of contingency and precarity on all levels of its production.


Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge [El auge del humano], Argentina/Brazil/Portugal 2016, digital, colour, sound, 97 min, Spanish, Portuguese and Cebuano with English subtitles

The screening is followed by a discussion with the artist.

This screening contains scenes of a sexually explicit nature and is advised for audiences 18+.

About Eduardo Williams

Eduardo Williams (b. 1987, Argentina) is a Paris-based filmmaker. He studied at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, before joining Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains in France. His first short films were set in his home country of Argentina but his more recent works, shot in various locations across the globe, have come to include the uncertainty of travelling and the spontaneous connections made in unfamiliar contexts as a central part of his filmmaking process. Williams’ shorts films Could See a Puma (2011) and That I’m Falling? (2013) premiered at Cannes Film Festival and his first feature, The Human Surge (2016), won the Filmmakers of the Present prize at the 69th Locarno Film Festival.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

24 February 2017 at 19.00–21.45