Oilfields Mines Hurricanes

Not available for screening anymore

Oilfields Mines Hurricanes

Directed by Fabian Altenried

  • Germany, Iceland 2013; 122 min
  • Original version: Icelandic, German, English
  • Genre: Experimental


OILFIELDS MINES HURRICANES is a road-movie, in which the classical concept of that genre – the quest for and the fixation of the own identity – is lead ad absurdum: Salpa, the traveler, experiences a corrosion of his all-along-multiple identity. This is already founded within the production: 18 authors have taken turns writing the screenplay. The amount and sequence of the scenes correlate with John Cage‘s organ piece AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE. The performance venue of that piece, Halberstadt, is the apparent destination of Salpa‘s journey.
But, arrived, no redemption is waiting; Salpa again finds himself thrown back onto himself and alone. For Salpa‘s journey each author depicts another fragmented world for Salpa to dive in, and each of them poses him, always confused & disorientated but determined, with the question of his own identity. The further he gets away from the beginning, the more the destination seems to fade away. Estranged Salpa floats through different possibility-worlds, which don‘t provide the right answer for his questions, who he is, what is left of him and what he has lost within himself along with the loss of the other.
Is Salpa like a migratory bird in a flock, or someone reflecting the relations to his father? Which gender does Salpa claim? What is ascribed to him? What does define him without the other?
We experience Salpa’s tale through non-stringent and non-causal narrations which unfold web-like over the whole movie: Salpa is constantly looking for contact with his surrounding, fails and enmeshes himself deeper and deeper in his identity which is more and more under deconstruction. Salpa‘s "companion" is a salp, a primitive fish, which Salpa is carrying as a prosthesis on his lower face. The origin of his prosthesis he finds in Iceland, where to he followed a mysterious tale of a flock of birds which froze to death in the air and dropped on the glacier.
During the movie, Salpa is testing the possibility of a symbiosis with the prosthesis whilst entrapping himself in more than one discourse around his seemingly lost place in the world. The salp takes one different roles and functions: It serves as an idealistic dialoguepartner, as a connection-tool to the outside, as an alter-ego and as a clumsy chauffeur on the trip which the two have embarked on together. The destination is unknown, but something pushes them forward, maybe the dark pitches, which are omnipresent below the surface, or Salpa’s voice from the car-radio? And who gets homesick while watching a maritime documentary, Salpa or the fish? Salpa, the seeker, is a metaphor for the loss of a world, for a destination gone missing without the end of the quest for it.

Director's Statement

THE SAPA–TALES: OILFIELDS MINES HURRICANES is a categorically open movie. It‘s conceptual structure is the frame for a collectively written and produced movie. We are producing without hierarchies and within discourses, each step towards a finished movie is a step with specific meaning. The about 80 hours material we shot in August, September and October 2013 are material of a cycle which evolves around questions. These questions of identity and its construction, pathology and finally deconstruction crystallize at the character Salpa which is depicted in its deconstruction within its development.
Salpa moves through a world strange to him, on a search for something, he isn‘t able to find. Salpa is looking for contact with the abstract other, doomed to fail a priori. Salpa experiences himself fractured, reflected in situations, which he gets himself into. All of us, who are working on the Salpa-Tales-cycle, do not share a vision in whole but in fragments. The Tales do not have a causal or stringent narrative but are rhizomatic unfolding micro-narratives, which are put in multiple relational ties to each other. Salpa is plural not singular, Salpa is more than one person or one character. We are trying to let Salpa be no-one and many at the same time. In its deconstruction Salpa‘s identity is its impossibility-metaphor. These are some vanishing points and fragments of the work. The work, in which we all, behind and in front of the camera, took part over the last year.


  • BTF

    Philipp Käßbohrer