Isle of Ideas| 52mins
Director: Jan Hanak | Producer: Moravska krajina
Focus Years: 2014 | Country: Czech Republic
“I want to change people’s way of thinking” — that’s how Jura expresses his dream about an ambitious project while standing in an autumn field. It’s the place where dozens of walking statues called Moai should grow up from the earth. ”I want to catch the people and show them our problem.” He leaves his country and travels to a distant land. What do Easter Island and Middle Europe have in common? It seems primarily the ecological issues. Moreover, there are also similarities in the ways of thinking, living and existing. This documentary speaks about human landscapes, whether in Middle Europe or the south Pacific. It also presents the hard life of the idealist as well as of those who have to live with him. It started three years ago when a young ecologist came up with an unusual project. His aim was to make copies of the Moai statues from Easter Island and place them to a fruitful middle-European land. They should have been a memento of a civilization catastrophe in both regions. He made up a team of sculptors and filmmakers and traveled to the South Pacific. Moravia is a traditional country north from Vienna which has connected the northern parts of Europe to the southern ones. It also belongs to the most fruitful part of Europe. One may say that anything planted here simply flourishes. Agriculture has been cultivated here for 6000 years, yet, in the previous sixty years, respect for tradition and the character of nature have disappeared. The way of tillage, the plants that are grown as well as the acreage of fields cause several tons of plough-land from every single acre to be scoured to the Black sea year after year. This leads to the fact that this fruitful land belongs simultaneously to the most endangered ones. There is a grit-and-sand subsurface under the plough-land. It is only a matter of time before all the plough-land is gone. There are places in Moravia that are facing this problem already. Local farmer, ecologist, patriot and revivalist Jura Novotný says the following on the topic of the environmental theoreticians and practitioners: they know how to “do” it yet they have no idea how to inform the public. Several workshops and lectures are organized, yet they merely preach to the choir. The question is how to present this topic to the public: namely to those people who take their family to a dinopark because you can make pictures with an exotic animal there. Moreover, you can also take there a ride in a historic train or buy some useless souvenirs. Thus, he came up with the idea to build an environmental park in a way similar to these dinoparks. Yet, its aim goes far beyond a simple attraction. Its ambition is to spread a more important idea. This “dinopark” should be educational above all yet also includes an artistic and landscaping dimension. Jura got inspired by the story of Easter Island, which he perceives as a suitable analogy to his own region. The example Easter Island clearly manifests that there is a direct connection between civilization and the ecology. Because of the good state of natural resources on this island, the civilization there developed unusually quickly which meant quite a rapid exploitation of these sources. The following ecological catastrophe went hand in hand with the civilization one, all of this happening within only one thousand years. Europe which is rich on natural sources experiences a similar process; yet due to its extent, such a process is much slower and almost invisible. On the contrary, Easter Island experienced this process in a smaller amount of time and may serve as a good example as well as a historical warning. Jura’s educational “dinopark” should be built up from the Moai statues which will represent the story of Easter Island. All the statues should be placed on a 40-acre-big field right next to Jura’s home village. Will he be able to finish the project? Will he succeed in addressing the public? What do his neighbours think? Do they all accept him as a likeable idealist? Is he an idealist at all? What does his personal story say about the Moravian country? What does it say about us?
Isle of Ideas | 52mins
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