Synopsis: „Abbey of Thelema“ (2020) is an experimental documentary film about the cursed rooms of a former cultic place, founded by the British occultist Aleister Crowley in 1920 near the Sicilian town of Cefalù. After 100 years of vacancy, the building is now dilapidated and overgrown with plants. Nature has reconquered all the spaces and the viewer is trapped in a swaying position in the rooms. Hip-high plants have made their way through the fallen roof tiles. In his search for the occult, the viewer suddenly finds himself no longer as a counterpart but inside the things.
Thus the howling cries of ecstasy give way to the slow whisper of decay, presenting the Abbey’s spiritual fulfilment in a state of sacred silence. As if nature’s reconquering of this sacred space was part of the latter’s original intention all along. Thereby, the uncanny aesthetics of the ruinous hint at an overcoming of the anthropocene.
Director: Michel Kessler
Genres: Experimental Documentary
Runtime: 7.15 Min