A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

Ben Russell & Ben Rivers explore the contemporary sense of community.

A spell to Ward off the Darkness

Directed by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell (Estonia / France, 98’, 2013)
Produced by Rouge International
Selected for the following festivals: Locarno 2013, TIFF 2013, CPH:DOX 2013

The filmmakers will be in attendance (subject to change)

From pagan myths that are once again trendy to the failure of community life, from heavy metal festivals to Arctic hermits, from the eternal magic hour to the Northern Lights, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness is a quest for the possibilities of spiritual existence within an increasingly secular Western culture. Participatory ethnography in the best sense of the term, A Spell choreographs the actions of non-actors in the middle of real Scandinavian landscapes, and by so doing seeks to obtain a hybrid witness of the past, present and future. It is an archive of experience offering belief in transcendence as a viable solution to living in this present.
Entirely shot at dusk and on Super-16 mm, this work is the result of a collaboration between two young film artists with many awards under their belts: Ben Rivers (UK) and Ben Russell (USA).
With this combination of artistic sensibilities drawn from arthouse cinema and horror movies for Rivers, and conceptual art and ethno-fiction films à la Rouch for Russell, this three-part film is the next logical step for both Bens. In fact, their interests have been converging for some time, and with A Spell, their two distinct approaches to visionary cinema have finally come together.

French preview screening, in partnership with the Cinéma du réel festival.