Neutrino

Jeffrey Jousan (sound engineer), Hirokiti, Hannie vd Bergh, Botan, Jan vd Berg, Sander Snoep (camera), Suzuki (former director Super K)

Fascinated by an elementary ‘ghost’ particle, artist Jan van den Berg travels to the prestigious Super–Kamiokande physics experiment at a depth of 1000 meters in Mozumi-yama in Japan. In the village on the mountain a variety of international scientists live and work together with the native inhabitants and their spiritual leaders. What starts as a personal journey of discovery for physics knowledge transforms into a universal, existential quest.

Premise

The elementary ‘ghost particle’ neutrino confronts us with the unknown in nature and in ourselves.

Synopsis

Neutrino is a mental road movie about the quest that live performing artist Jan van den Berg undertakes in and around the Japanese mountain village of Mozumi (Hida, Gifu Prefecture). In this former mining community, indigenous villagers live together with a varied international group of physicists, executing research into the so-called neutrino; an elementary ‘ghost’ particle that is known for being extremely invisible and elusive. That is why the neutrino is considered a symbol for ‘the unknown and the indefinable’ in nature and within ourselves.

Billions of neutrinos flash through our bodies every second. Like bullets through fog. Non stop. Without us noticingit. And without all those neutrinos taking any notice of us. The neutrino is sometimes called ‘the poet among the elementary particles’ — the particle that brings poetry into physics — because it acts almost constantly as the exception to the rule, the eccentric of the universe. At the same time, the universe and we ourselves would not have existed if it had not been there: the neutrino, the exception, ‘the poet’.

Together with the international scientists, the local villagers and the spiritual leaders who live and work in the mountain village, Jan tries to enter into a dialogue with the mysterious ghost particle. Based on the scientific view of the neutrino experts, the everyday experiences of the villagers and the philosophical view of the spiritual leaders of Mozumi, he seeks an answer to the question what the neutrino — the unknown — tells us about ourselves.

Gradually the film changes Jan’s search from a quest for exact knowledge into a philosophical journey of discovery. Leading to the realization that everything in life might be completely different than we thought until now.

Crew

Screenplay and direction Hannie van den Bergh and Jan van den Berg
Music Jacq Palinckx
Camera Sander Snoep
Sound Jeffrey Jousan
Coach Tamara Vuurmans
Producer seriousFilm
Broadcasting Company KRO NRCV – Boeddhistische Blik / Laetitia Schoofs

Financially supported by the Dutch Broadcasting Fund (NPO Fund)

Exclusive access

In the summer of 2018, the management of Super-K granted the film crew exclusive permission to film in the heart of the detector. A possibility that only occurs once every eight years when the tank is opened for cleaning and refurbishment works. The filmdirectors owe this privilege, among other things, to the fact that they’ve established and maintained a special relationship with Professor Suzuki-san and the Super-K organization since 2004.