How do our perceptions of disease and health reflect on us as a society? Travelling throughout history and across cultures, Ira A. Goryainova's fascinating essay offers a philosophical reflection on humankind's view of illnesses. From the Ancient Greek theory of "black bile" to the victim-blaming language of medicine as demonstrated by Susan Sontag, Bile explores the notion of the human body as political metaphor. The Moscow-born director draws from intimate material, intertwining the story of her mother's cancer and death in post-Soviet Russia with a vast range of medical archives. Her expert collage establishes intriguing connections between physical disorders and the social cancer of the 20th century: fascism. Ironically noting that the use of mustard gas in the Second World War led to the discovery of chemotherapy treatment, Goryainova asks if diseases are as natural to the body as wars are to humanity—a question that is sure to get under your skin.
director, writer & editor - Ira A. Goryainova
producer - Peter Krüger / Inti Films
cinematographer - Patrick Stevens
music & sound design - hypnoskull
performers - Audrey Apers & Jan Deboom
voice - Kimberly Dhondt

with support of Flanders Audiovisual Film Funds (VAF)
in collaboration with the Medical Imaging Research Center UZ Leuven (MIRC)
& Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema & Sound (RITCS)
essay, 64 min.