The Art of the Impossible


24. September 2018




ZID Theater
De Roos van Dekamaweg 1
1061 HR Amsterdam, Netherlands

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A roadmovie about Eugenio Barba and origins of Odin Teatret and how they conquered the world. A new documentary by Elsa Kvamme.

The documentary tells the story of Odin Teatret and of Eugenio Barba who came to Norway as an Italian immigrant in 1954. He started Odin Teatret in Oslo, after having worked as a tinsmith, a sailor and after studying in Poland with the theatre reformer Jerzy Grotowski.

In this documentary, the Norwegian film director Elsa Kvamme accompanies Eugenio Barba to the air raid shelter in Oslo where it all started, then to Opole, where Barba witnessed the birth of Grotowki's "poor theatre" and spread information about his new physical way of acting, and finally to Holstebro.

It was in this small Danish town  that Odin Teatret settled in 1966, influencing the town's development through innovative performances, original theatre research and cultural activity in the community. From here Odin Teatret has created theatre history, changing the concepts about how, where and when theatre can  be performed. What was, and still is, driving Eugenio Barba, and how has he been able to keep one of the world´s oldest theatre groups alive with the same core of actors for more than 50 years ? 

The music of the  film has been writtren by the well-known Norwegian composer Henning Sommerro.

Directed by: Elsa Kvamme
DOP: Nils Petter Lotherington, Tore Vollan, Claire Coriat
Editors: Claire Coriat, Erik Thorvald Aster

Duration: 66 minutes, with English subtitles

The film had a premiere at the Porsgrunn International Theater Festival in June 2017. 

The Art of the Impossible :
A new documentary by Elsa Kvamme - English trailer »

Elsa Kvamme is a filmmaker who has, among others, made the feature film "Fia!" and the documentaries "A Streetcar to Auschwitz" and "The Doctors' War".  She was an actress at Odin Teatret (1973-75), and started her own theatre company, Saltkompagniet in Oslo, which she led for six years. She attended film school in New York, and is also known as a cabaret artist and songwriter.

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