Director / Writer / Producer : Laurie Layton Schapira
Co-Producer / LineProducer : Dui Landmark
Cinematographer : Jose Maria Borrell
Associate Producer : Juan Escudero
A tall man in his 40’s, in dark sunglasses and an elegant business suit, stands in front of a helicopter on the airport tarmac. He takes the wheel of a black Mercedes and drives into the city, where he parks the car and furtively looks around before he knocks on the door of a house.
An interesting-looking woman, wearing a long flowing dress, opens the door. They introduce themselves – Heidur and Sigurd. When they shake hands, she feels a shock, like a jolt of electricity. In a flash of vision, she “sees” the same man in another place and time – wearing a dark hood. His left eye is missing.
Heidur composes herself and guides the man to a quiet room. She offers him a seat and instructs him to pick 10 cards from a Tarot deck lying face down on the table. She turns up the first card – the Magician. And the second card – the High Priestess. Suddenly, she is transported again, to another time. Now she herself stands before a bonfire on a windswept heath. Her hair is loose and flowing, bound only by a silver circlet across her brow. An animal fur is thrown over her shoulders, clasped with an elaborate brooch. She holds a mighty staff, carved with runes. She is the Volva ( “Seeress” in Old Norse). The earth trembles as she hits the ground three times with her staff, calling both gods and men to listen.
On the other side of the bonfire sits the hooded man. He is Odin, father of the gods. He has sought the Seeress to learn her wisdom about the past, present, and future. He wants to know if he can avert his fate…and impending “Ragnarok” (Norse apocalypse).
In a trance, the Seeress recounts the creation of the world from fire and ice….how Odin and his brothers fashioned the earth from the body of the primordial frost giant, and breathed life into the first humans. She tells how the gods lived happily amidst their creations…until the Norns brought “fate” into the world, signaling the end of innocence. The Seeress tells stories of broken oaths, depravity, murder, warfare. She warns Odin that, despite his wonderful accomplishments, his greed, pride, and lust for power will cause his downfall and unleash the forces of darkness -- ending in the destruction of the world.
The Seeress also predicts the rebirth of the green earth…peopled by the children of the gods and men, but nevermore immortal.
The scenes cut back forth between the ancient and modern parallel stories, as the Volva’s present-day counterpart tells Sigurd’s fortune. With only one Tarot card left, he gets a call on his cell phone. He goes to leave, telling her that these cards are meaningless and have nothing to do with him. As Heidur hears the front door slam shut, she turns up the last card – Death.
Meanwhile, on the street, Sigurd grabs his left side and staggers into his car, only to slump over the wheel, the car horn blaring. Passers-by gather to help, trying to resuscitate him. But it’s too late. As the camera pans across their faces, we see that they are the gods from ancient time, now simply mortals.
The film ends with the Volva’s words, “I have told you the story of the world. Make of it what use you can.” She has much to tell us about the perils of our own time: corruption, misogyny, global disaster. Can we heed her dire warnings ?