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In form of a poetic science-fiction narrative, the film presents events on a fictitious island, famous for its fish soup ‘Aljotta’: Recently, when the island’s inhabitants eat their ‘Aljotta’, they start having hallucinations and become witnesses of a surreal process of memory transfer. Scientists explain this phenomenon in a biochemical way: they discover the “HFH-effect” (Human-Fish-Human-effect). Fragments of other human’s memories infiltrate the gestures, actions and expressions of the inhabitants. Ariel, the spirit of water and air, observes everything.

The script is based on excerpts of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, on a recipe for ‘Aljotta’, on Dr. James V. McConnell’s theory of memory transfer, and on long-term observations of Maltese society. The video-installation is an artistic reflection about the impact of passing strangers onto the collective memory of an island. 

Essay-Film, 2-channel projection HD 21 min. 2018
Written and Directed by Bettina Hutschek. Produced by Bettina Hutschek, Arts Council Malta and Valletta 2018 Foundation