Divinations — Storm De Hirsch
Divinations was completed in 1964 at the same time Storm De Hirsch was finishing her only feature film, Goodbye in the Mirror. According to the Film-makers’ Cooperative Catalogue No. 4, published in 1967, the music making up the film’s soundtrack is a ritual chant of a Maori medicine man and a Sicilian tarantella performed on a jew’s harp.
Also in the Catalogue, De Hirsch described the film as:
A film poem that records a psychic event in color, shape and sound. The inner eye reveals its visionary powers through a series of mystical signs and symbols, a collage of negative and positive images, incantations and sorcery.
P. Adams Sitney and Ken Kelman both called Divinations “Among the best films of 1964.”
I wanted badly to make an animated short and had no camera available. I did have some old, unused film stock and several rolls of 16 mm. sound tape. So I used that — plus a variety of discarded surgical instruments and the sharp edge of a screwdriver — by cutting, etching, and painting directly on both film and tape.
In addition to single rentals of Divinations from the Film-makers’ Cooperative, De Hirsch offered the film as a trilogy with her two later films Peyote Queen (1965) and Shaman, A Tapestry for Sorcerers (1966). She named the trilogy The Color of Ritual, The Color of Thought.
The film has two title cards. The opening title card just says Divinations; and the end card reads By Storm De Hirsch.