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"My wish is that you may be loved to the point of madness." – André Breton

The surrealists are alive and well in contemporary Berlin. Living together in a decaying commune called the Glasshouse, the luminaries of art's most controversial scene wrestle with a city inclined to be rid of them, an art world being bought out by the rich, and years of wild living and simmering grudges. When founding figure Jacques dies and Lexia, a mysterious Bosnian stray is added to the mix, they plan one final provocation – an attack on punk pioneer Malcolm's fashion show – but they soon discover that betrayal taints even the purest of humanity's dreams.

Sumptuously shot, Elixir is the deliriously culture-mashing feature film debut from boundary-pushing writer/director Brodie Higgs, with input from 22 contemporary Berlin-based artists. A gloriously conceived assemblage of old and new – of art, design, music, sex and fashion – this ambitious film gives the surrealist manifesto a poetic 21st-century makeover.

Brodie Higgs is a festival guest.