The Stranger Within is a lyrical exploration of the impact of identity and civilization on individuals and society. It speaks to the possibility of reaching unseen heights but also descending into the darkest depths of human actions. The vision of reason, purity, and hierarchy shines in the darkness, illuminating the pinnacle—the "aha" moment of realization that emerges in the search.
That moment, that small realization, is where reality seems to acquire a new, higher dimension. The spark of order connects people in a common thread, in comprehensive patterns of images, narratives, participation, and play. If we are not careful, we may overlook that, just as light produces shadows, the recognition of good comes with an awareness of evil and the potential negative shades that remain as the residue of identity and actions. Every space has an inner and outer aspect. Every creative act leaves a dark surplus that doesn't fit. The same mechanisms by which we operate as a society and achieve civilizational marvels are also the ones through which we marginalize, exclude, and condemn the outer. Similarly, the realization of our own potential and ability to organize, direct, and influence the world around us can awaken bad habits, dark possibilities, and obsessions that can destroy us and others. This process of identity and marginalization is present at all levels, from individuals to groups and nations. It is inevitable. In fact, attempting to break this pattern often leads to an even more radical version of the same. Therefore, when the marginalized attempt to eliminate marginalization, they unconsciously find themselves in the shoes of the tyrant.
Through beautiful music, together with the freedom and lyricism of animation, we can experience different aspects of this pattern of identity formation, its possibilities, and dangers.
The music and animation take us through this cycle from the perspective of the main character, who, by ignoring their own shadow and not taking responsibility for the dark aspects of their being and society, ultimately becomes consumed by that darkness. From a child who explores, dreams, and marvels at their paper airplane in flight, they turn into a monster capable of destroying everything they hold dear and imposing tyranny on the world. Fortunately, we follow the main character through these dark waters to the other side of the abyss, where we encounter hope in their ability to shed tears and experience repentance for their own evil. In that humble moment, we hope, the pattern of tyrannical actions is interrupted. (Jonathan Pageau, The Symbolic World)
T.S. Elliot: excerpt from Burnt Norton (narration) P. Radisavljević: Journey Logos / Cheer / The Shadow dance / The Abyss / Possession V. Vlasov: Gulag Archipelago (Orchestrator: Predrag Radisaljević) A Foot Stage / Blanty / Timber Cutting / Pahan and Creeper P. Radisavljević: The Malice V. Trojan: The Demolished Cathedral (Orchestrator: Predrag Radisaljević) P. Radisavljević: Finale