The experimental films, installations and performances of Ben Russell bear witness to his keen interest in ethnography and anthropology. He travels all over the world to make film recordings of different cultures, where he examines contemporary Utopias. His films have been about Atlantis, Christian animists, dream-healers and cargo cults: indigenous communities who believe that they can obtain Western riches by carrying out rituals.

Russell is also interested in the history and effect of moving images. He continually explores the boundaries of the documentary as film genre. He often works with a hand-held camera, which creates an intimate relationship not only between the audience and the topic, but also between the topic and the filmmaker. In Russell's work, voice and landscape are poetically interwoven with one another in a way that is almost psychedelic.