Date: Monday, September 23, 2019
Location: Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA
Director: Sara Dosa
Film Details: 2019, 85 minutes, DCP, color, sound, in Icelandic and English with English subtitles
World Premiere at the SFFilm Festival. Official Selection of the Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Filmmaker Sara Dosa and Film Subject “Ragga” Jónsdóttir to attend in person for Q&A , moderated by local filmmaker Chico Colvard.
About the Film:
Set against the spectacular landscape of Iceland, THE SEER AND THE UNSEEN is a magical realist documentary about invisible elves, financial collapse, and the surprising power of belief. The documentary follows Ragnhildur “Ragga” Jónsdóttir, a grandmother and “seer” who has the ability to communicate directly with a parallel realm of elves, or huldufólk (hidden people) -invisible spirits of nature that over half of Iceland believes in. As one of the country’s most respected seers, government officials, businesses and individuals hire Ragga to consult the elves to learn where they can and cannot develop land. But when Ragga is called upon to be the elves’ ‘Lorax’ and speak on behalf of nature under threat, she enters a political battle to save an ecologically important lava field set to be razed by road construction -just one of the many needless projects spurred by Iceland’s sensational financial meltdown in 2008. Through Ragga’s heroic fight, THE SEER AND THE UNSEEN explores the invisible forces that shape our world and transform our natural landscapes, revealing not only what is worth seeing but what is worth saving.
Winner of the McBaine Bay Area Documentary Prize at the SFFilm Festival
“While its mystical subject defies logic, Sara Dosa’s verité film is cogent and appealing thanks to a savvy strategy. Dosa respects Ragga’s beliefs without endorsing them, and positions her activism as a metaphor for saving the environment… This captivating film does not ask viewers to see elves with her, but to observe and hear the quiet, enduring, threatened natural world all around. – Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter
About the Director:
Sara Dosa is an award-winning documentary director and producer whose interests lay in telling unexpected character-driven stories about the human relationship to ecology and economy. Dosa’s feature directorial debut, THE LAST SEASON about two former soldiers turned wild mushroom hunters made its World Premiere at SFIFF 2014, taking home a Golden Gate Award, and was nominated for the Indie Spirit “Truer than Fiction Award.” THE LAST SEASON was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2015 and was acquired by First Run Features. Most recently, Dosa directed an episode of the Netflix music docu-series REMASTERED about Johnny Cash’s 1970 concert for Richard Nixon. THE SEER AND THE UNSEEN is her third feature as a director. As a producer, she recently produced SURVIVORS about Ebola in Sierra Leone (2018 IDFA / POV); co-produced AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER (2017 Sundance / Paramount) and THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY (2019 Sundance / Netflix); and, produced Peabody award-winning AUDRIE & DAISY (2016 Sundance / Netflix Originals). Dosa was recently named by DOC NYC as one of the “40 under 40” working in documentary film and is a voting member of the Academy’s Doc Branch. She graduated from Wesleyan University holds a joint Masters in Anthropology and International Development Economics from the London School of Economics.
Directed by Traci Hercher, 2018, 8 minutes, 16 mm on video
Diana portrays Chicago-based healer Diana Harper as well as the August 2017 total solar eclipse which was visible across the United States. Created during a moment of immense transition in her life, the film simultaneously portrays Diana and speaks to the global political climate, gendered and racist dismissal of non-scientific epistemologies, and the astronomical phenomenon of the eclipse.