The Strange Sound of Happiness
Director Diego Pascal Panarello
Germany, Italy / 90 min. / 2018 / Italian, English, Sakha, Russian / English subtitles / Dutch Sign Language interpretation of the Q&A
The crazy, magical and hilarious trip to Siberia by a Sicilian with a hell-bent purpose: to find out as much as possible about the mouth harp, national instrument and symbol of happiness in those lands.
In this surprising debut, Diego tells his own story, that of an unemployed young Sicilian with few prospects, fascinated by the hypnotic sound of the scacciapensieri (marranzano, in Sicilian), the mouth harp that Morricone incorporated into his soundtracks for spaghetti westerns. Determined to discover the ancient roots of that small piece of vibrant metal, he travels to the icy plains of Yakutia, in Siberia, where the instrument, called the khomus (“magician”), is considered a symbol of happiness. Between the customary and the surreal, comedy and documentary, truth and hallucination, our explorer relies on psychedelic animations and impressive photography, as he narrates (with a self-ironic snigger) the story of the unusual relationship into which he enters with the master harpist of the region and an old luthier of mystic airs. His passion has something of a senseless inexplicable madness but it serves to offer a unique and refreshing perspective on subjects like trade, tradition and spirituality.
IN-EDIT 2019 will open with the Dutch Première of the film The Strange Sound of Happiness (2018) by Diego Pascal Panarello. The director will come from Sicily to explain us more about his crazy, magical and hilarious trip to Siberia, where he could find all about the instrument of his obsession: the mouth harp. The bizarre and charismatic personality of Diego will reach the climax with a mouth harp performance by himself!