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Bell Media Hot Docs Showcase - The Seer & The Unseen

  • Metro Cinema 8712 109 Street Northwest Edmonton, AB, T6G 1E9 Canada (map)

Directed by: Sara Dosa | 87 minutes | Iceland | 2019

Amid Iceland's majestic wilderness, a lava field of ecological importance is about to be demolished by the largest bulldozer in the country. Standing in front of that bulldozer is Ragga: grandmother of three, environmentalist and celebrated "seer" into the invisible realms. She and her fellow activists are arrested here for protesting the construction of a needless road -just one of the many ill-conceived development projects aimed at rebuilding the Icelandic economy after 2008's banking collapse and global financial crisis.

Beyond the ecological devastation the road would cause, Ragga has an emotional connection to the lava field: the bulldozers are demolishing the homes of elves - invisible beings who inhabit the lava and whom she considers friends. Ragga is a "seer" who possesses "second sight," the ability to communicate directly with a parallel realm of elves. The belief in elves has been a part of Iceland's culture for centuries and to this day, over half of the country believes in their existence. Elves are thought of as spirit-like caretakers of nature who live alongside humans. However, if humans violate boundaries between the visible and invisible worlds, there can be serious repercussions. As one of Iceland's most respected seers, governmental officials, businesses and individuals call upon Ragga to consult the elves in order to learn where they can and cannot develop land. Due to this rare gift, the burden of stopping the road from destroying the elves' homes- and, a massive lava boulder thought to be an "Elf Church"- rests heavy on Ragga's shoulders.

A microcosm for human relationships to nature, economy and the enchanting power of belief, the film explores the invisible forces - be they elves or capitalism - that shape our visible worlds and transform our natural landscapes.

Screening presented as part of:

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Earlier Event: May 5
How to Bee
Later Event: May 6
DOC Shorts Package