Last night, EPI and I headed off to Háskólabíó cinema to catch the premiere of the film The Future of Hope.
Remember The Future of Hope? I blogged about it around the time that they were trying to get it financed on Kickstarter — which incidentally is an awesome tool for artists, creative types and anyone who wants to launch a project and desperately needs funds, and proof that t’Internet can change the world. Also, I’m happy to say that I saw quite a few names that I recognized as regular blog readers in the credits at the end.
But I digress.
The Future of Hope is a documentary that essentially revolves around the many opportunities Iceland has for the future, particularly in terms of ecology and sustainability. The filmmakers explore these opportunities mainly through interviews with different people in Iceland: innovators, entrepreneurs, academics, visionaries and thinkers.
The basic message is that the way of living we have become accustomed to is not sustainable and that we must find new ways of living as we move into the future. It’s a message we’ve all heard before, and a message we will of course hear again, because it’s imperative that we get it.
In my experience, most films or documentaries are filled with doomsday predictions that are enough to fill anyone with abject hopelessness — even the most zealous agents of change. The Future of Hope, in contrast, presents the message in a manner that is, well, remarkably hopeful. The resounding message throughout the film is that change is possible and not even that hard; all we have to do is put our minds to making them happen. The issues are explored thoughtfully and intelligently, without sensationalism or propaganda. It’s an important message, and it was heartening to see it presented so well.
The springboard for the exploration of these issues, of course, is the Icelandic economic meltdown, which is also largely viewed from a positive perspective. We meet an entrepreneur who effectively lost his life’s work in the crash, yet even he feels that the crisis was, despite everything, a good thing. At one point in the film he quite literally gives the finger to the banks, who have repossessed his home, business and most of his worldly belongings — evoking applause and laughter from the audience [proving that, two years on, anger surrounding the meltdown is still very much alive among the Icelandic nation].
Yet the film isn’t perfect, and given the importance of the meltdown as instigator I would have liked to have seen a little more background. I suppose the makers of the film wanted to focus on the future rather than wallow in the past, but I suspect most people who see the film wouldn’t have a clue e.g. why the entrepreneur’s foreign currency loans went from X million to X million x 4 in just a few months, without knowing that the Icelandic currency collapsed and so on. So that was a bit of a flaw … I think it needed a bit of context so that the subsequent impact on people made sense, rather than just assuming that everyone understood the background.
However, that was a minor glitch in an otherwise well conceived and executed film. The cinematography was excellent, as was the editing, music … really, it was a highly professional and well made film that everyone involved can be proud of.
The Future of Hope opens in Iceland cinemas tomorrow, Friday.