As part of the documentary film festival ”SILVERDOCS” in Maryland, the Norwegian film "Hunting down memory" will be screened on June 19.
When Øyvind Aamot—also known as “Wind”—wakes up one day on a train snaking its way across China, he does not remember how he came to be traveling in a country halfway around the world, let alone his own name or age. All he knows is that he feels very much at home in China and can converse ﬂuently with locals, even though his features clearly betray his foreigner status. As one of the doctors describes his condition, it is as though Wind’s “hard drive” has been completely wiped blank. Gone are the most basic sets of knowledge and skills he would have picked up through socialization and formal education. For instance, Wind doesn’t necessarily recognize the train—on which he woke up with his first set of memories—as a mode of transportation, but only as a set of recurring motions that carries him along. Meanwhile, his friends and family in Norway don’t have the slightest clue as to Wind’s whereabouts, having received no communication from him for weeks. When he finally does reconnect with his friends and family they are taken aback by his childlike innocence. The blank slate that is his mind works to Wind’s advantage as he continues his world travel. He has no preconceptions or prejudice, and is therefore open to all types of education, including learning multiple foreign languages and picking up social skills by observing others. As Wind tries to retrace his steps through China and find out what caused his amnesia, the audience is treated to a fascinating exploration of the meanings of culture, nationality and personal identity.
Where: AFI Silver Theater 3, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20910
When: Fri, June 19 at 4.45 pm