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On The Future of Hope

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.

Comments

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  • PeterRRRRR September 2, 2010, 9:10 pm

    Very Obama-esque title. However, as even Obama supporters like myself have to admit, the road from Hope to Reality can be a twisty, bumpy one.

  • Michael Schulz September 2, 2010, 10:25 pm

    “The Future of Hope”? There is neither a future nor hope in a tautology. But for Iceland there is hope and thats why there is a future.
    Cheers,
    Michael

  • sylvia hikins September 2, 2010, 10:48 pm

    Is the film likely to be available as a DVD?
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • Kris September 3, 2010, 1:49 am

    Hope has a glorious past and a good future. Reform needs to be taken out of the language for a few years so it can recover some of its meaning.
    To me anger is a more appropriate emotion for the banking collapse.
    You need to pull the weeds before you plant the garden. Anger provides the energy to pull the weeds. Then hope can plant the garden. Capiche?

  • idunn September 3, 2010, 1:56 am

    I recall your having mentioned the movie ‘Future of Hope’ before. I certainly like the trailer, would like to see this documentary.

    It appears to have a very limited distribution at this point. They have some mention on Facebook, imdb.com lists it being in pre-production. However in this digital age that can all change quickly.

    You are correct, most people outside of Iceland would have no idea what the kreppa is, or for that matter be able to locate Iceland on a map. But this is obviously an important film we all should see, and quite possibly will if made aware of it . . . with a practical way to view.

  • Luna_Sea September 3, 2010, 2:33 am

    @ sylvia,
    Here’s a link I got from their facebook page when I inquired about a NYC screening. Fill out the form and they will notify you when the film will be screened in your area and/or available on DVD.

    http://futureofhope.pandaform.com/pub/general/new

  • Andrew September 3, 2010, 2:49 am

    I’m glad to hear that there is still hope in Iceland. 🙂

    What are your ideas on the future? Do you see Iceland becoming a centre for eco-technologies?

  • Michelle | Bleeding Espresso September 4, 2010, 9:56 am

    Excellent review; I’ll be sure to look for this. Thanks!

  • hildigunnur September 4, 2010, 1:17 pm

    IWR doesn’t show on my Bloglines feed reader – has anything changed in the publishing?

  • alda September 4, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Thanks, everyone! It’s certainly a film worth seeing and has already provoked considerable thought and discussion chez YT.

    Andrew — I think we definitely have the capability. It’s just a matter of policy and implementation. I certainly hope so — it is a society I would like to live in.

    Hildigunnur — Thanks for the headzup. I wasn’t aware of that. Maybe because I haven’t updated in a couple of days? I’ll check my feed after the next post, see if it shows up.

  • Gingerbiscuit September 4, 2010, 11:23 pm

    I attended the premier of this film on Wednesday and would highly recommend seeing it when you can. It is beautifully filmed and edited, entertaining (the animation and music are both awesome), informative and hopeful. I am a UK resident and I do hope this film makes it over to UK shores, as it’s a refreshing view on Iceland after all the bad press the country received post the economic collapse.

    If you are in Iceland, go see it while it’s in the cinema to appreciate its full beauty.

  • hildigunnur September 5, 2010, 11:09 pm

    Still don’t see it my side, it’s got this red exclamation mark beside it. 🙁

  • hildigunnur September 12, 2010, 12:01 am

    Bloglines eru að hætta, loka sjoppunni 1. okt þannig að ég er allavega búin að flytja mitt dót inn í Google reader.

  • alda September 12, 2010, 12:11 am

    Kannski þess vegna sem þetta gerist?

  • hildigunnur September 12, 2010, 11:24 am

    jamm, allavega eru þeir ekkert að vinna í að halda þessu í gangi neitt, skiljanlega.