The Magic Mountain

Daniel Mann, Eitan Efrat

This video is no longer available

Daniel Mann and Eitan Efrat, The Magic Mountain (still), 2020.

e-flux presents Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memory The Magic Mountain
Daniel Mann, Eitan Efrat

69 Minutes

August 14–27, 2020

Join us on e-flux Video & Film for an online screening of Daniel Mann and Eitan Efrat’s The Magic Mountain (2020), on view from Friday, August 14 through Thursday, August 27, 2020.

In Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain (1924), protagonist Hans Castorp spends seven years in a Swiss sanatorium, where the rarefied mountain air places him in a different reality, outside of time. Although the book is not directly referenced, in this essayistic documentary The Magic Mountain alludes to both its atmosphere and title. Focusing on underground locations such as quarries, tunnels, and caves, the filmmakers investigate the insatiable human desire to extract natural resources from the ground. In three chapters, they explore the healing powers of radon gas found in Austria, the powerful energy felt in stones in Switzerland, and the pearls found in Polish caves, pearls created by sweat and blood—mementos of those who died there. Together, these chapters form a geological and cultural history of our (often bodily) relation to the subsoil of the earth, enabling different modes of knowing and experiencing the world. Like Castorp, the viewer is hence placed in a different reality, and invited to take “the ride into the mountains to be healed.”

The Magic Mountain is presented here as one of three films in Part One | Extraction: Environments and Communities, the first of six programs in the online film and discussion series Ecology After Nature: Industries, Communities, and Environmental Memoryprogrammed by Lukas Brasiskis for e-flux Video & Film.

Ecology After Nature runs from August 14 through November 8, 2020. The films in Part Two will screen for two weeks, and subsequent parts will follow bi-weekly, with new films screened every other Sunday.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Documentary, Anthropocene, Environment, Community, Extractivism
Return to Part One | Extraction: Environments and Communities

Daniel Mann is a London-based filmmaker and writer. His academic research centers around image warfare and the integration of habitual media into armed conflict.

Eitan Efrat is co-founder of the Brussels-based, artist-run collective Messidor together with Sirah Foighel Brutmann, Pieter Geenen, and Meggy Rustamova. His practice focuses on the performative aspects of the moving image.


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