NEULAND director Holger Lauinger on ecological and social restructuring Part 2

     |    Tuesday, der 30. March 2010

NEULAND co-director Holger Lauinger talks about his film. (Also by Holger Lauinger und Daniel Kunle: NO MORE / NOT YET).

You had quite a bit of interaction with people who think outside of the box. What surprised you most during the shoot? What was your most intense experience?

I was surprised that everyone was spontaneously willing to participate although I’m sure that not everyone was aware what they really could expect from the film. So I am especially pleased about the positive feedback I’ve gotten from those who took part in it. We visited many of them and had the film with us. My most intense experience during the shoot, and even more so during the editing, was the discussion that took place with Frau Fahnert in the ‘Kino Wolfen’ movie theater. She talked about what she was just about to do (close the cinema), and about the fact that her family was moving to western Germany. Frau Fahnert ran the movie theater with great empathy for the city and the  pressing problems it has and did so in an almost socially therapeutic way. When you see how little support big time politics – and even local politics – show so for people like her and her efforts, you just bounce between rage and despair. If we don’t support the arts and the people involved in cultural life as a whole, then we will have to live with the consequences, namely that towns and whole regions will begin to devolve mentally…. No one really wants that, but unfortunately arts and culture are the first thing to be cut from community budgets since they are generally in the ‘optional’ category.

The film was made in 2007 – have you followed up on any of the projects?

Apart from the the crowd favorite – the snail breeders in Vogtland – all the others are still up and running. I don’t know why the snail breeders have left th the market. But I’m going to research it. In my opinion, I think failure is exactly the teacher that society needs! You can learn the most from failing. To expand on that, I think we shouldn’t allow people to lose everything, and endanger their future ability to earn a proper living, just because a business idea doesn’t work out. The cost of a personal flop has to be kept to a minimum. It’s a question for society as a whole. Just as part of the discussion should be whether or not the cogs in the machine – the conditions – should be adjusted to allow more projects to succeed… I personally don’t understand why every region has the exact same regulations. I think that regions with negative growth, in contrast to regions which are expanding, need a different set of playing rules…

Courtesy of Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Soziokultur in Niedersachsen e.V.