The Strange Sound of Happiness



The crazy, magical and hilarious trip to Siberia by a Sicilian with a hell-bent purpose: to find out as much as possible about the mouth harp, national instrument and symbol of happiness in those lands.

In this surprising debut, Diego tells his own story, that of an unemployed young Sicilian with few prospects, fascinated by the hypnotic sound of the scacciapensieri (marranzano, in Sicilian), the mouth harp that Morricone incorporated into his soundtracks for spaghetti westerns. Determined to discover the ancient roots of that small piece of vibrant metal, he travels to the icy plains of Yakutia, in Siberia, where the instrument, called the khomus (“magician”), is considered a symbol of happiness. Between the customary and the surreal, comedy and documentary, truth and hallucination, our explorer relies on psychedelic animations and impressive photography, as he narrates (with a self-ironic snigger) the story of the unusual relationship into which he enters with the master harpist of the region and an old luthier of mystic airs. His passion has something of a senseless inexplicable madness but it serves to offer a unique and refreshing perspective on subjects like trade, tradition and spirituality.

Presented by Mr. Extravaganza + Q&A  with director

Italian, English, Sakha, Russian spoken / English subtitles