teisipäev, veebruar 26, 2008

Intervjuu utoopia uurijatega

Indrek Grigori intervjuu filmi "The Making of Utopia" autorite Oliver Kochta Kalleineni ja Tellervo Kalleineniga.
(Küsimine/ vastamine toimus e-maili teel.)

If I understand correctly “The Making of Utopia” is a follow up to the “Summit of Micronations”? How did you come across this theme? What are the most fascinating sides of those little formations?

We heard first about The Principality of Sealand and we also had visited Ladonia on an early journey. While micronations expressions of an idea, a construct or a concept, they are very little rooted in the daily live of people. Very few people actually live a daily life in the micronations (as far as this is possible). Our interest in the communities in Australia was very much based on the wish to see how people have turned a utopian dream into a daily reality, and how much the vision and this reality clash.

I found two aspects which were common to all the communities in the film. Even though they where populated by families, they where all founded by a single man. Which is in consonance with the history of utopia in general – a single man`s dream.
Life in utopia is not paradise but hard work. This again is in contradiction to the romantic dream of harmony.
Would you shortly position the Australian communities in context of utopia building (history) in general.

(1) With respect to the four communities portrayed the situation is not so simple. Of course, in setting up a community someone has to take the initiative. In case of Moora Moora this was Peter Cock and his wife Sandra. But the actual vision of the place was worked out by a group of seven people, so it was in no way a single man's dream. With Dharmananda and Bodhi Farm both places were set up by a larger group of friends. In both places there were two very strong charismatic persons that had a very strong vision for the place, but it is interesting to note that Dharmananda and Bodhi farm expelled those members when the community realized, that those visions were not in support of the whole community.

Besides, there are many examples of communities founded by women.

(2) There is anyway no life in utopia; since this implies the notion that utopia would be a static place. We understand the term Utopian Community rather in the sense that people have the intention to live together a life that is slightly or sometimes radically different (and hopefully better) from life in the rest of the society. It is pretty obvious that this means hard work, as much as you have to work hard to make a relationship to function.

What did you expect to find in those Australian communities and what did you find? And which aspects of their experience did you try do capture in the film? What is your film about? What was the question you were trying to answer?

The main point was to find out, how much the utopian dream clashed with the daily reality. How much the original vision was compromised. We wanted to portray communities that are successful (acknowledging that it is hard to define success), because one hears much more often about the failed experiments.

How much do those communities differ from a modern eco village to which they oppose themselves or from say an apartment community?*
*(A house where there is more than 5 apartments, (but at least 2) must (can) by Estonian law form a community, which decides how much is the rent, what they do with the gathered money (repair the roof), who-when cleans the staircase and so on.)

I am not sure that the communities in our film would oppose themselves to a modern eco village, in fact the eco village movement grew out of the communitarian movement of the 70s and they share many features. The difference might be that the communities in our film are not only talking about ecological sustainability but also about sustainability of the human relationships within the community.
That those communities are quite different from an apartment community is already apparent from your description of those entities, since you say that they are enforced by Estonian law and governed by those laws. The communities in our film came together voluntarily to experiment with a different way of life, often in direct conflict to the state law.

Why did you decide to use the musical theme again rather than making a documentary? Which are the benefits of working with a fictional plot?

I think we made a documentary film, but the methods we used are maybe less rigid than in more established forms of documentary film making. We have been inspired by the documusicals by Brian Hill. (see attachment, which will also answer your second question in a much better way than I can do it)

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