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With groundbreaking new score by Geoff Smith on the hammered dulcimer.
Click here to hear Geoff playing the soundtrack to Haxan
The Hammered dulcimer has been waiting for someone like Geoff Smith to come along.
Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3.
It's a tribute to Smith that his music was able to bring this wonderful movie to life.
The Financial Times
The musical equivalent of splitting the atom
This isn't just an innovative soundtrack, as its echoes positively enhance the melancholic and menacing moods of this intense, psychological masterpiece.
BBC Radio Times
The film is a documentary of witchcraft and a study of how human superstition, coupled with a lack of understanding of the causes of things such as mental illness and disease, may have led to the witchcraft hysteria of the early modern period.
The first part of the film is a scholarly dissertation on the appearances of demons and witches in primitive and medieval culture. A number of photographs of statuary, paintings, and woodcuts are used as demonstrative pieces. In addition, several large scale models are employed to demonstrate medieval concepts of the structure of the solar system and the commonly accepted depiction of Hell.
The second part of the film is a series of vignettes theatrically demonstrating medieval superstition and beliefs concerning witchcraft. These include Satan (played by Christensen himself) tempting a sleeping woman away from her husband's bed and terrorizing a group of monks.
The third part of the film is a long narrative broken up into several parts. Set in the Middle Ages, it concerns an old woman accused of witchcraft by a dying man's family. The narrative is used to demonstrate the treatment of suspected witches by the religious authorities of the time.
The final part of the film seeks to demonstrate how the superstitions of old are better understood now. Christensen seeks to make the claim that most who were accused of witchcraft were mentally ill, and in modern times, we recognize that people are not possessed by the devil but suffering from a disease. His case revolves around vignettes about a somnambulist and a kleptomaniac, the implication being that these behaviors would have been thought of as demonically-influenced in medieval times whereas modern times recognizes them as psychological ailments.
Composer, performer, orchestrator, designer, vocalist, songwriter and percussionist Geoff Smith is acknowledged both as a world-leading virtuoso and a unique innovator and pioneer in composition, technique and performance on the Hammered Dulcimer.
Please note: As this film is Certificate 15 - we cannot allow children under the age of 15 to attend.
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