Documentary, Essay | 5 min | 2021 

Breathe in for three counts. Now, breathe out for three. 1, 2, 3… Repeat until the revolving machinations in your mind come to a gentle stop. Now you are ready to watch Stille.

Director Chris Santiago invites you to feel the pulse of your consciousness in a video essay on Zen priest Vanja Palmers. Born into a family of Swiss-Austrian industrialists, Palmers had a promising career as an economist, but a psychedelic trip in the Sixties left him questioning his ambitions and the meaning of life. Palmers and his brother set up the House of Silence, an ecumenical meeting center for spiritual practice and reflection, in 1989.
In being still, Vanja Palmers embodies the magical power of purification, concentration on the essential, and of mindfulness, ultimately, mindfulness means nothing other than being with oneself, being aware of oneself, and attaining a higher human consciousness.
The film’s protagonist leads us on a meditative walk through his rural spiritual retreat on mount Rigi, Switzerland. He reflects on society’s attachment to abundance and the overstimulation of the mind through images, sound, and information.
“In this sense, silence provides an impetus for a new way of listening, where it is worth paying attention today and how a new way of thinking could begin with a moment of pause, globally and locally.”

Director: Chris Santiago | @_blackacatzin_
Film Editor: Dennis Gnoni Visconti
Daryl Hefti |
Sound Design: Kurt Human |
Colorist: Samuel Muff |
Art Work: Andrei Vid |
Still Photography: Christian Neuenschwander |

Shot on Arri 35mm
16:9, Color

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