“Carlotta’s Face” Looks At Life With Face Blindness

For many of us, being able to recognize faces — our own, our friends’, even our enemies’ — comes without a thought. But in “Carlotta’s Face”, you get an amazing insight into what life is like for someone who cannot recognize faces and the incredible way she’s come to cope.

The film came about in an unexpected way, combining science, art, and personal narrative into one seamless and moving short.

“I work as a neuroscientist studying the human brain. While passing by a small, local art gallery in my hood in Munich, Germany, one of Carlotta’s self-portraits caught my attention,” Valentin Riedl, one of the directors, explained. “At first, this picture looked like an accurate drawing of a face resembling the precise pencil drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. But looking closer, I realized that the proportions and individual aspects such as eyes and nose were completely off positioned and unrealistic. Only then, I learned that Carlotta suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness. Knowing from my research about the mis-wiring of a specific, face processing brain region, I was fascinated by how a brain deficit could lead to such beautiful and captivating art. I then contacted Carlotta and for over three years, I have been following her life.”

You can see the whole film here:

Carlotta’s Face (multi language subtitles) from Fabian&Fred on Vimeo.

Already a favorite on the festival circuit, it’s easy to see why this film has garnered such attention. With stunning, slightly surreal visuals, it is both a work of art and a triumphant story — packed into a very short time.