FREEDOM & INDEPENDENCE

4K Video, 15 min., 2014



To watch this film please contact studio(at)melhus.de for a password.

Synopsis (short):

The experimental short film FREEDOM & INDEPENDENCE questions the current global ideological paradigm shifts towards new forms of religious capitalism by confronting ideas and quotes of the self-proclaimed objectivist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand with evangelical contents of US-American mainstream movies. This contemporary fairy tale, in which Melhus performs all characters himself, was partly shot in a Berlin morgue and new urban environments in Istanbul.

Synopsis (longer):

The experimental short film FREEDOM & INDEPENDENCE by Bjørn Melhus questions the current global ideological paradigm shifts towards new forms of religious capitalism by confronting ideas and quotes of the self-proclaimed objectivist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand with evangelical contents of US-American mainstream movies. This contemporary fairy tale, in which Melhus performs all characters himself, was partly shot in a Berlin morgue and new urban environments in Istanbul.

Against the backdrop of an unfathomable megalopolis, in a story that follows the associative qualities of a dream logic, the protagonists quote from concepts of neo-liberal elitism, and a mix of religious delusions and hallucinations of the apocalypse. The film begins in a sacral space, where Randi, a figure that references Ayn Rand, transforms a parapsychological medium into two digital clouds and sends them on a journey through a megalopolis in full growth. There they materialize as two bodies, which go by the names of Mr. Freedom and Ms. Independence.

In the following passage through a city in transformation that is increasingly shaped according to capitalist interests and where privatization swallows up the public, Mr. Freedom and Ms. Independence recite Christian-fundamentalist rhetoric and head towards the biblical apocalypse and doomsday. However, the supposed salvation is only the reunification into their original state as „the medium“ and their return to their uber mom Randi. The film ends in the post-mortem examination room of a morgue where Randi rules over a crowd of sick, half-dead, masked men.

 Video Stills:

Film Poster:

Plakat_Freedom

Production Team:

Written, directed, performed, edited and produced by: Bjørn Melhus
Director of Photography: Eike Zuleeg
Sound Design & Music: Max Schneider
Costumes & Make Up: Julia Neuenhausen
Set Design: Felix Ott
Choreography: Felix Ott & Helga Wretman
2nd Unit Camera (Istanbul): Ben Brix
CGI: Mike Orthwein
Colour Grading: Stefan King
Title Design: Javier Benítez-Pinzón
Production: Yuki Jungesblut
Production Company: Limboland Productions

Additional Cast: Jörg Brinkmann, Carsten Främke, Tommy Grov, Ralf Henning, Felix Laubscher, Klaus Pape, Manu Washaus
Additional Voices: Chloe, Joel & Oliver Beck
Camera Operator: Jens-Christian Wanzeck
Dolly Grip: Thomas Hoffmann
Chief Lighting Technician: Andreay Schwab
Lighting Technicians: Tommy Grov, Alex Turgeon
Data Wrangler: Thomas Taube
Set Photography: Ben Brix, Ralf Henning
Location Managers: Felix Laubscher (Berlin), Can Sungu (Istanbul)
Assistant Director: Yuki Jungesblut (Berlin)
Set Assistant: Manu Washaus, Gunnbjörg Gunnasdóttir
Post Production Assistant: Ben Brix

Further Information:

Freedom & Independence Press Release English (pdf)

Made with the support of:

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien (BKM)
Filmförderanstalt (FFA)