The Isle of the Dead

Travelling to the gates of the underworld

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Böcklin's mysterious Isle of the Dead is one of the most often reproduced paintings in the history of art. It fascinated Lenin and Hitler, Freud and Clémenceau, and inspired both Dali and Scorsese. The painting represents the final journey as described in Greek mythology, as the boatman Charon accompanies the dead to the underworld on the other side of the river Styx.

This experience proposes something unthinkable: join Charon and travel to the very portal of the underworld. The journey starts in a comfortable, cosy, modern apartment. Suddenly the world around you starts to break up: walls and surfaces crack, crumble and fall into the dark waters of the end of time. In an inescapable forward motion propelled by the collapse of everything around us, we glide across the water, petrified, towards the Isle of the Dead. A hypnotic journey filled with lugubrious poetry and architectural visions from another age, set to the powerful symphonic poem of Rachmaninov.

The experience is be available on Viveport.

Nominations and Awards

  • Best VR story

    La biennale di Venezia 2018

  • Prix du public

    Festival de Belfort 2018

  • The Special Jury VR Award

    FilmGate Miami 2018

  • Best Virtual Reality Short Film

    China International New Media Short Film Festival


  • Based on the painting - "The Isle of the Dead" - Arnold Böcklin
  • Directed by - Benjamin Nuel
  • Written by - Benjamin Nuel - Clémence Madeleine-Perdrillat
  • Music - Isle of the Dead Op 29 Sergei Rachmaninoff by Hawkes & Son
  • Coproduction - ARTE France - Les Produits Frais


  • Narrated by - Richard Doust


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