The Vanishing Act of Einar

This is a documentary in progress about the dialogue between mental and physical processes, following Einar Lunga on a “roadmovie” from his normal life as a psychologist in a remote place in Western Norway, to a pilgrimage on one of the holy paths of Spain, and back to his daily life. How is it to live with an aggressive illness as a travel companion, how does his environment react to the sudden changes of his personality?

Being diagnosed with proliferated prostate cancer five years ago was to Einar Lunga a challenge much different from what he expected. He went through all the normal phases of fatigue and feeling useless, untill his doctor gave him a last warning: If he went on feeling pity for himself, there would be no future.  Approaching the world with another attitude, he discovered a new passion: Walking. Through long walks he got inside of himself, processing all the changes he went through and starting a dialogue with his “shadow sides.”  At the same time he experienced at times euphoria, as if getting out of a prison of normality, of masculinity, and the daily demands of performing.  And in spite of not being a religious person, embarking on long pilgrimages had a good effect both on him and his cancer. And it turned out that he was not the only person in Europe having the same need to move out of “normality.” 

In this documentary we get to know Einar Lunga, a curious intellectual as well as a vulnerable father and a man in love with life.  We follow him to his doctor at the hospital, in conversation with his adult son, and at work, where he still has a job, adapted to his special circumstances. But what happens, and what has happened to him, walking into the unknown, at pilgrimage in Spain? Which phases is he going through, from the first resistance, to the extatic feeling of “walking like a river”? Why does pilgrimage have such a good effect on him, who do we meet, being in similar circumstances, and what thoughts do they have about the phenomenon “cancer”, being the new epidemics of modern times

This is a coproduction between the Oslo-company Alert film and the Bergen/ West of Norway company Blinkfilm. The awarded director Elsa Kvamme, known for documentaries like “Kings of Oslo”, “The doctors’ war” (best documentary 2011) and “The tram to Auschwitz”, which is nominated for the 2014 “Gullruten” award as best documentary.

In “The Vanishing Act of Einar” she collaborates with renowned DP Sjur Aarthun, acclaimed for his dramatic filming of horror films, now getting to use his photographic skills in another kind of drama, and the composer Henning Sommerro.

Prosjektet skal bli en 52 - 60 minutters dokumentar, som kan plasseres som et “roadmovie” og et  portrett av en utradisjonell personlighet som også har allegorier til “helse og livsstil” såvel som den dramatiske dialogen mellom menneske og natur.  Dette blir en meget visuell dokumentar, hvor bilde og musikk spiller en stor rolle. Med oss har vi “skrekkfilm”—fotografen Sjur Aarthun, som har god erfarng I forhold til å fange  denne dramatiske dialogen, og komponisten Henning Sommerro.



Release date: 2015-09-17
Type: Documentary
Lengde: 60 min


Director: Elsa Kvamme
Screenplay: Elsa Kvamme
DoP: Sjur Aarthun, Nils-Petter Lotherington
Editor: Erik Thorvald Aster, Karen Gravås
Composer: Henning Sommerro
Production: Alert Film, Njål Lambrechts/Blinkfilm