Kapka Kassabova

Elixir

Elixir

In the Valley at the End of Time

Summary

Elixir is a journey in search of a cure, a journey shaped by one river and three mountains. Kapka Kassabova takes us to the valley of the Mesta river, where the surrounding forests and mountains are a nexus for wild plant gatherers. Through the prism of the valley, exploring the deep connections between people, plants and place, she finds a story with vast resonance for us all.

Over several seasons, Kassabova spends time with the people of this region. She meets women and men who work in a long lineage of foragers, healers and mystics. She discovers wild plants and their uses, the ancient practice of herbalism in which they are rooted, and experiences a symbiotic system where nature and culture have blended for thousands of years. Through her captivating encounters we come to feel the devastating weight of the ecological and cultural disinheritance that this population has suffered. Yet, in her search for elixir, Kassabova also finds reasons for hope. The people of the valley are keepers of a rare knowledge, not only about wild plants and their properties, but about how to transform suffering into healing.

Immersive and enthralling, at its heart Elixir is a search for a cure to what ails us in the Anthropocene. It is an urgent and unforgettable call to rethink how we live - in relation to one another, to the Earth, and to the cosmos.