The Shrouds: loss according to Cronenberg


The strange and monstrous cinema of David Cronenberg has fascinated audiences since 1969, when he released his first feature film Stereo. After the global success of The Fly, the Canadian – who won the special Jury Prize in 1996 for Crash – has continued to explore the physical, scientific and psychological mechanisms of the human condition. The Shrouds is a new metaphysical exploration of the grieving process and the questions that torture those left behind.

50-year-old Karsh is an acclaimed businessman. Inconsolable after the death of his wife, he invents GraveTech: a revolutionary and controversial system that lets the living connect with departed loved ones inside their shrouds. One night, multiple graves are desecrated, including his wife’s. Karsh sets out to track down the perpetrators. 


“It’s a hugely personal project for me. Anyone who knows me will know which parts are autobiographical.”

– David Cronenberg

David Cronenberg began writing this film in tribute to his wife, who passed away seven years ago. In this incredibly personal film, the director dreams up a connection that endures even after death, installed in the mortuary coverings of the deceased. These digital shrouds allow the living to watch the bodies decomposing in their graves. In their third collaboration after Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method, Vincent Cassel plays a disturbing double of the director. Diane Kruger steps into Cronenberg’s world for the first time, taking on the roles of two sisters and an avatar.

Crimes of the Future, the director’s last film, was presented at the 2022 Competition. The story began to broach biological mutations of the body, with the invention of a revolutionary method beyond the realm of previous possibilities. In The Shrouds, David Cronenberg goes even further and uses film to dispute death itself.