The Banisher of Thought

The Banisher of Thought explores the array of fragmented histories surrounding the ancient instrument known as the jews harp, and the consequent translation of this research into a cinematic form. It seeks to enunciate the instruments basic potential for connecting seemingly disparate cultures across the world through a shared ancestry, and discusses the formal decisions employed to illustrate this potential in a visual form. The cinematic iteration engages Norway and India through a mode of observation that seeks to generate a mythical dimension of reality. Through such mechanisms as highly constructed and minimalist shots, what is arguably an ethnographic modality of documenting culture is pushed to its very limits, consequently problematizing the operation of the ethnographic gaze itself.

How does the Kogi, a pre-columbian civilization living on the worlds largest costal mountain, connect to a valley in Norway, rich in traditions of metalsmithing and folk music? This is a question that implicates the whole world, revealing a vast tapestry of interrelations through the most unsuspecting of artifacts; the mouth harp, an ancient instrument of unknown age and origin. It is an essay film about a latent history, situated between reverence and ridicule, obscurity and renown.

The Banisher of Thought

Documentary short Film

Andreas Daugstad Leonardsen
Norway

The Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival OFFICIAL SELECTION, SPRING 2016