Prolific music video director Joe Connor has delivered a stunning video for Elbow's new track Magnificent, capturing life in Myanmar, mainly from the perspective of young girls who radiate innocent happiness, together with a look at the country's rich spiritual tradition.
Propelled forward by a desire to "find obscure stories in far off worlds, small intimate portraits set against a big visual canvas," the piece strikes a balance between glimpsing into the lives of a group of children, and the glistening, gold-capped temples that await those who choose to take the monastic path.
And while the piece makes sure to include many of the details that give us a sense of place, its poignancy lies in a loose coming-of-age narrative, cutting between the girls' childhood where carefree play reigns, and the solemn acceptance of monastic life.
From the director
"I went travelling to Myanmar last year taking only a 35mm camera and 10 rolls of film, I was struck by the intense beauty of the country and the incredible kindness, friendliness and inherent loveliness of the people. It was the most amazing place I’d ever been.
"When this fantastic track for Elbow dropped through my inbox I was instantly taken back to the sweeping landscapes, warm light and wonderful people of this far off place. It felt like the perfect accompaniment to the delicate track; to focus on this recently awakened country with a newfound energy (in a global sense). I was in the country during the election last year and to come back and see the change, for better or worse was a very humbling experience and like the girl in the song that Guy so eloquently observes, the infinite potential, the newfound energy, the endless possibilities exist in a place like Myanmar, it felt like a beautiful place to expand the concept of 'little fictions.'"