The Shaman of Rust

what is it like to be an artist in the changing financial climate?

Filmed over three years (2012-2015) in true observational style and technically conceived as a mixture between cinéma vérité and 'disruptive' urban montage, THE SHAMAN OF RUST is a creative documentary exploring how personal, social and cultural spaces are intertwined and interrelated. The film follows Welsh community artist Jonathan Sherwood, who lives with the challenges of heavy medication to manage his bipolar personality disorder. Sherwood, together with a collective of artists (Artopsy), has to re-locate first in a retail park and then to the city's indoor market, as a consequence of the urban regeneration of Newport city centre. Whilst following one man's journey, director Massimo Salvato offers evidence that the modern vision of city centres as big shopping malls impact the existing communities and urban spaces, which are both demolished only to rise again in new 'dis-placed' configurations. Sherwood is 'Everyman' struggling to create and re-build his life over and over again, as internal forces (his mental health) and the external environment (such as the consequences of urban regeneration) demolish what he has achieved. Including footage of the controversial demolition of the Chartist mosaic mural which commemorated the Newport Rising of 1839, and featuring a soundtrack by Welsh experimental music collective Bosch, THE SHAMAN OF RUST is a visceral, gritty, humorous and heart warming filmic study of the struggle for recognition and survival of a marginalised artistic community in the face of economic uncertainty.

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