The Strange Sound of Happiness

The Strange Sound of Happiness

Documentary Film
Germany,
Italy
2017
89 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Edoardo Fracchia
Diego Pascal Panarello
Bartolomeo Sailer
Matteo Cocco
Enrica Gatto, Carmen Kirchweger
Alvise Renzini
Diego Pascal Panarello
Danilo Romancino, Michael Haesters, Sorin Apostol
After twenty years, the failed musician Diego returns to his Sicilian hometown of Augusta with no money, job or perspectives. In a dream he has a vision of a Jew’s harp, called Marranzano in Italian. The half vibrant, half buzzing sound of this small musical instrument echoes in the chant of the omnipresent cicadas – and in the sound of an electric shaver. After some initial research at the local souvenir shop, Diego soon finds himself in freezing Yakutia, where the Jew’s harp is called Khomus and considered a lucky charm. In Siberia Diego also meets the most famous Khomus player in the world, a generally respected blacksmith with a striking resemblance to the master from “The Karate Kid”, and learns about the rich mythology of the instrument. People say, for example, that one of the best Marranzani flew into space one night to be played by a Russian cosmonaut. Diego’s research on the universal history of the Jew’s harp merges with the story of his personal pursuit of happiness, while his journey is driven in equal measure by self-questioning, ethnographical interest and associative enthusiasm.

Esther Buss



Honorary Mention Next Masters Competition;
Nominated for Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize