With "Homo Sapiens", director Nikolaus Geyrhalter paints a haunting dystopian vision of civilization minus its creators. This unique documentary consists of nothing but steady, perfectly framed wide-shots of abandoned structures and wastelands. Imagine Wes Anderson doing location shots for "The Walking Dead" and you'll be getting warm.

A location — often trashed, overgrown, or otherwise run-down — flashes onto the screen and remains there for 20-30 seconds, disturbed by nothing but the wind or the pattering of rain. Then another, and another, and another, and you are rhythmically drawn into a world that even dystopian sci-fi dreads to go: a vision of post-mankind Earth.

Given the known extinction threats to humanity — rising seas, plagues, asteroid hits, nuclear bombs, an overload of toxic pollution of the air and water — it is hard to not view "Homo Sapiens" (Japan title, "Jinrui Isan") as a warning. In a telephone interview with Geyrhalter, I asked him whether the film was intended as such.