A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
Ben Russell and Ben Rivers
A Spell to Ward off the Darkness is an enquiry into the possibilities of a spiritual existence within an increasingly secular Western culture.
Set in Norway, this creative documentary depicts a single character at three disparate moments in his life.
A Spell is a non-fiction feature film in three parts that refers directly to the cinema of Jean Rouch (Chronicle of a Summer), Lisandro Alonso (La Libertad) and Jean-Luc Godard (Sympathy for the Devil), among others.
Shot on color Super 16mm filmstock in the farther reaches of Norway by artist/filmmakers Ben Rivers (UK) and Ben Russell (USA), A Spell depicts a single character at three disparate moments in his late 20s - as a hermit in the solitude of the Arctic Circle, as an uncertain participant in a contemporary 'commune' in the Lofoten Islands, and as the drummer for a neo-Pagan black metal band.
Taken as a whole, A Spell is a direct inquiry into what it means to lead a spiritual existence in an increasingly secular world.