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With his film that balances the precision of a Swiss watch with the messiness of a restless mind, Alan Berliner shows a uniquely personal tour through his life-long obsession with insomnia. In the spirit of his highly acclaimed experimental documentary films, Intimate Stranger (1991), Nobody’s Business (1996), and The Sweetest Sound (2001), he once again uses his own life as a laboratory – this time to confront both the anguish of his sleeplessness, and the blessing of extra time that it affords his creative life. Berliner uses both metaphor and candid first­person observations to illuminate how an obsessive mind that won’t shut down at night leaves him feel­ing “jet lagged in his own time zone.” Incorporating hundreds of archival film clips, consul­tations with sleep specialists, an overnight stay at a sleep lab, conversations with family members, home movies and dream visualizations – all woven togeth­er by a strikingly dynamic sound design – Wide Awake is a cinematically innovative film that pushes at the borders of documentary storytelling.

Production: Experiments in Time, Light & Motion Inc.

Screenplay: Alan Berliner

Editor, producer: Alan Berliner

Cinematographer Ian Vollmer

Format: HD (shot on Mini-DV), Color and b/w

Running time: 90 minutes

Language: English

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur