Friday, April 23, 2010

Way of Nature

Showing at the San Francisco International Film Festival: Way of Nature, directed by Nina Hedenius

Synopsis from the SFIFF website:

Sit back and let the daily grind and digital blur of our modern predicament wash away before this mostly wordless meditation on the seasonal ebb and flow of life on a remote Swedish farm. Sights and sounds build to create an elegantly subtle drama of daily chores seamlessly interspersed with beautifully understated shots of falling snow, snoozing dogs and goats, blooming spring flowers, roaming livestock, dense forests, lush pastures and birthing cows and horses. Immersed in, and treated to, images that nourish, relax and, at times, astonish, one begins to appreciate the subtleties and trials of a life outside of our own. Time-honed tasks are observed as rituals that seem to pull us back to a primal past, as hand-bound and hard-won repetitions become the dialogue of the film and the diverse animals its main mesmerizing characters. At certain points, the film’s languid pace slows a beat more to dwell exquisitely on animal bodies. Revealing magnificent patterns and textures upon their hides, fur and feathers, they become visuals that might make a fiber artist dream or an abstract expressionist weep. Even the construction of fences takes on an ancient quality that seems to speak to us of Nordic roots when we view the distinct beauty of the final creation. Here, on but one farm, far from the hype of “green” marketing, it is—and always has been—a generational necessity to nourish biodiversity and sustainability. Here the “way of nature” is simply the way of life. —Sean Diggins

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