A Hole In The Head is an hour long documentary about trepanation - the process of boring a hole in the skull. A Hole In the Head examines the development of "modern" trepanation as used by people in the United Kingdom, the United States, and The Netherlands for the purpose of attaining a higher level of consciousness. This procedure, used by the ancient Egyptians, Incas, and others, is believed by the voluntarily trepanned to allow for renewed brain pulsations that increase brain blood volume and thereby improve brain function. Interviews regarding the history and efficacy of the procedure are also held with some of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and anthropologists.*******************
Cevin Soling, Producer & Executive Producer of A HOLE IN THE HEAD, gives some insights into why he made the documentary, what he feels people will learn from watching it and how trepanation compares to modern consciousness expansion methods
"I first became aware of trepanation through an interview with Paul McCartney who mentioned that John Lennon wanted to have it done and suggested that the two of them have the operation. I later learned more from a book by author Donna Kossy who indicated the procedure might actually work to expand consciousness. It was the fact that it might have beneficial effects to enhance one's state of mind that intrigued me. Amazingly, no one had done a proper study to find out the veracity of the claims, so I decided to make the film to find an answer.
"Trepanation as a procedure has been around for thousands of years and was not performed for the superstitious reasons some attribute today. I hope that the film teaches people not to infantilize our ancestors and also to appreciate just how far back attempts at seeking to expand consciousness go.
"I can think of many things that are commonplace today which I think are harder to justify than trepanation. Body piercing and tattooing are other forms of body mutilation, though we use the polite word 'modification'. There is a psychological response that accompanies these acts for the people who have it done which is why they are drawn to them. The effect of trepanation might be a similar mechanism, or it may be physiological as well. Evidence of the latter would substantiate the procedure to a greater degree than the recreational forms of body alteration. Using drugs as a means to attain a state of consciousness has the drawbacks of being temporary and having side effects that either interfere with brain function or adversely affect health."
"I don't think of myself as squeamish yet this twisted documentary had me balled up into a fetal position and begging for mercy like a little sissy baby... I can honestly say I would rather sit through an autopsy than to watch a documentary footage of some poor African woman having a chunk of her knoggin removed wothout the benefit of anesthesia! Unbelievably graphic and very gory. Check please!
- Hollywood Outside
"As far as technique goes, A Hole in the Head tends to be over-reliant on the outdated "talking heads" style of documentary so out of vogue these days, but the content is so bizarre and the interview subjects so unfanthomably eccentric that the staid approach doesn't matter. This is compelling viewing, especially recvommended for fans of recent shock-docs like Sick, Hated, Chickenhawk, and Crumb.