Decasia (2002)

Film details

  • Director

    Bill Morrison

  • Country


  • Year


  • Genre


  • Type


  • Category

    Non Fiction


A collage of found archival footage all shot pre-1950 on a cellulose nitrate base. The focus of the film is the effect and character of the visual damage caused by the decomposition of the nitrate film.

'...composed entirely of decaying, nitrate-based archival footage which seems to melt, burn, drip and deteriorate before our very eyes. In his search for striking examples of emulsion deterioration, Morrison examined close to a thousand archive prints from numerous collections. But Decasis does more than merely celebrate the psychedelic beauty of decay, as Morrison has deliberately chosen images which seem to push back against their own physical disintegration...

Inspiring and infinitely suggestive, this haunting tapestry of long lost, partially erased images - nuns leading a slow-moving cortege of schoolchildren, the rescue of a man from drowning, a boxer relentlessly targeting his mysteriously obliterated opponent - testifies not only to the fragile nature of film but to the transience of all human endeavour...' [Dust jacket sleeve notes].

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top