A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

“As collaborators, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, two intrepid and nomadic talents of experimental film and art, have created one of the most bewitching cinematic experiences to come along in a great while. In A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS, Robert A. A. Lowe, the celebrated musician behind Lichens and Om, gives a strangely affecting, perhaps even trance-inducing performance as the film’s Parsifal figure, a quixotic man who embarks on a quest for utopia—the holy grail of infinite truth, self-knowledge, and spiritual connectedness. He finds some measure of it in three seemingly disparate contexts: in a small collective community on a remote Estonian island, in isolation in the northern Finnish wilderness, and onstage fronting a black metal band in Norway. While his experience seems to be a perpetual one of home, exile, and return, for us, it is purely magical.”—Museum of Modern Art.

Genres: Documentary

Other Films by Ben Rivers

A Distant Episode

A meditation on the illusion of filmmaking, shot behind-the-scenes on a film being made on the otherworldly beaches of Sidi Ifni, Morocco.

THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS

“A labyrinthine and epic film that moves between documentary, fantasy, and fable, shot against the staggering beauty of the Moroccan landscape, from the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains to the stark and surreal emptiness of the Moroccan Sahara, with its encroaching sands and abandoned film sets. Rivers’ work contains multiple narratives, the major strand