Playing catch-up

Okay, so I committed the cardinal sin of blogging, and went AWOL for about a month. But in my defence, lots was going on. Here’s a quick post-mortem: We wrapped up Film Snacks, and have our winner: “Good morning, Steve”.

This short had the entire web team laughing off our seats. Definitely memorable and innovative in its approach.

The Planet in Focus Film Festival wrapped up last weekend, and I got to check out a few films there as well. I’m definitely penciling it into my agenda next year, and I’m aiming to see (and review) three films per day. Hold me to it.

My two favourites: Eternal Mash, done with impeccable cinematic artistry, and Gimme Green – a look at America’s dysfunctional relationship with the perfect lawn (white picket fence and all).

Eternal Mash

The doc tackled the work of Dutch horticulturalist Ruurd Walrecht, who made it his life’s mission to preserve vegetable species on the verge of extinction. Sounds boring, right? Well you wouldn’t think so if you woke up one day without any plants to eat. If you woke up.

He sorted, stored and created a nursery where he could rear these rare plants, in the hopes of preserving our planet’s quickly diminishing biodiversity. Turns out, there’s a mass plant extinction happening, and few of us can fathom what this entails (myself included). The film touches on the role GM produce and seed banks have in this.

Despite Walrecht’s dedication and love for this work, he one day stopped, packed up and disappeared – taking his expertise with him. Left to pick up the pieces are those who shared his passion, and who continue the struggle to preserve his achievements.

Done with incredible sensitivity and attention to detail, the film moved at the speed plants grow. However, given the film’s subject, this is fitting. After all, it is about slowing down, thinking about our connection with what we consume, and where we’re taking those who come after us.

The film is full of beautiful shots (in themselves, works of art), and intense characters. And lurking in the background is the reminder that these martyrs too are on the verge of extinction, pushed out by big business and unacknowledged by governments.

Gimme Green

In short: everything that’s wrong with our world.

With a haunting reminder of Ismail Serageldin’s now-famous forecast that “Wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water, not oil,” the film points how ridiculously skewed our priorities are.

Surprisingly (and refreshingly), the film steers clear of finger-wagging or soap-box antics. There are many points in the film that made me clutch my stomach with laughter.
Full of colourful characters. I’ll leave it at that. ^_~

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