HD Video for projection, 24 min., 2011
In “I do not belong in this House”, the figure who seemed to dwell behind the living room wall in “I’m not the Enemy” actually appears. This man, covered entirely in hair and warming himself at the fire, appears to have been inspired by the Grimm’s fairy tale “The Bear Skinner”. In this story, a homeless soldier makes a pact with the devil, who tells him that for seven years he must not wash himself or cut his hair, and wear only a shaggy bear pelt. Rejected by society, he survives only with the help of the devil, whose financial support finally enables his resocialization.
“I do not belong in this House” shows a creature we would hardly call civilized yet the shaggy costume conceals a man who was once part of society, who repeats “I do not belong in this House” over and over again, as if appealing to someone to help him out of his isolation. Unlike the happy ending of the fairy tale, however, he remains caught in a cinematic loop. The isolation in which the modern bear skinner finds himself after being unable to find a place in society after the war, is a both compelling and timelss metaphor for the way war-damaged soldiers fall though the social net.
(from Vanessa Müller: “Bjørn Melhus at the Haus im Schluh Worpswede”, catalogue text)
Script, Cast, Director, Editor: Bjørn Melhus
Director of Photography: Ben Brix
Set Design: Felix Ott, Julia Neuenhausen
Costume and Make-up: Julia Neuenhausen
Producer: Yuki Jungesblut
Production Company: Limboland Productions
This work is part of a “trilogy” and can be presented in conjunction with “I’m not the Enemy” (2011) and “This is my Home” (2011).