A promising economist turned Zen Buddhist invites you to a moment of stillness.
- Art Direction
Director Chris Santiago invites you to feel the pulse of your consciousness in a video essay on Zen priest Vanja Palmers. Born into a family of Swiss/Austrian industrialists, Palmers had a promising career as an economist, but a psychedelic trip in the Sixties left him questioning his ambitions and the meaning of life. Palmers and his brother set up the House of Silence, an ecumenical meeting center for spiritual practice and reflection, in 1989.
“In being still, Vanja Palmers embodies the magical power of purification, concentration on the essential, and of mindfulness,” says Santiago. “Ultimately, mindfulness means nothing other than being with oneself, being aware of oneself, and attaining a higher human consciousness.”
The film’s protagonist leads us on a meditative walk through his rural spiritual retreat on mount Rigi, Switzerland. He reflects on society’s attachment to abundance and the overstimulation of the mind through images, sound, and information.
“In this sense, silence provides an impetus for a new way of listening,” says the director, “where it is worth paying attention today and how a new way of thinking could begin with a moment of pause, globally and locally.”
Directed by Chris Santiago
Cinematography – Daryl Hefti
Film Editing – Dennis Gnoni Visconti
Sound Design – Kurt Human
Cast – Vanja Palmers
Producer – Daryl Hefti
Producer – Chris Santiago Production
Assistent – Kevin Vogel
1st AC – Christian Mathis
Steadycam Operator – Sebastian Geret
Location Sound Mixer – Kurt Human, Tonverein
Color Grading – Samuel Muff, Slaughterhouse
GmbH VFX – GEKSONE
Compositing – Guillem Sánchez, BerlinBarcelona
Artwork – Andrei Vid
Special Thanks to: Stiftung Felsentor, Rafael Palacio Illingworth, Marcos Ramírez, Fabienne Kurt, Ian Patterson, Andrea Lucia Brun, Leo Laguna