Panta Rhei (1952)

In 1952 Bert Haanstra, a dutch cinematographer, created the short documentary Panta Rhei. The name of the title translates as everything flows which is a phrase used to encapsulate the philosophy of Heraclitus, who believed that the world constantly moves and changes. In reality, there is no way to prove that Heraclitus actually used this phrase, but, even if he didn’t, the essence of his thought spells out these words.

In the documentary, Haanstra observes nature and its movement. No humans or animals are shown. Just an earth that is alive and breathing. Motion comes in the form of small droplets on leaves, blooming flowers or running clouds that present the harmony of constant change. This primordial view of nature as ever-flowing is probably what a man saw while thinking about the cosmos a few centuries ago in Ephesus.

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