A project of sustainable consumption, founded on local and seasonal products and on a new model that breaks the borders between consumers and producers, is nowadays a real alternative way of operating in a world dictated by cheap production and grand-scale distribution, that has lost its harmony with the rhythm of nature.
This is the message of “Autrement (avec del lègumes)”, the wonderful documentary directed by the Belgian director Anne Closset, winner of the Prix ‘Agir’ at FReDD 2016, French festival member of the Green Film Network.
Starting with the solidarity purchase group she is a member of, the director examines the way CSAs, projects of Community-Supported Agriculture based on a deeper connection between producers and consumers- operate. Consumers become an essential part of the project and agents of change thanks to their choices. The model is based on genuine products, small distribution channels and mostly on the relationships of trust between people.
“When I make a movie, I’m interested in filming experiences starting from the place where I live, Bruxelles, and questioning their utopias”, explains the director Anne Closset, whom we talked about the film with. “For ‘Autrement (avec des légumes), the news is that I’ve started from a town experience which I am involved in. I decided to make it a film when I realized that this simple experience has changed insidiously not only the way I consume, but also my connection with the world. Moreover, I wasn’t the only one who wanted quality food, respectful of life, and wished to support local production in a small circuit. Behind this solidarity purchase group for the peasant agriculture, there is a promising international citizen movement, the CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). We saw a lot of protest film about the drift of our food system. In this atmosphere of general impotence, it seemed important to make a movie that proposes solutions and puts the man at the centre of the change”.
“Autrement (avec des légumes)” leads us to discover European networks dealing with solidarity purchase and biological agriculture, from Belgium to Croatia, including France and Italy. We meet the experiences of producers, managers and consumers, and we discover the advantages of the project, but also the obstacles we need to face. Our system doesn’t help the small producers or the young farmers, crushed by big food industry and by the costs for certification labels.
“After a century of great changes, in which technological discoveries have changed our behavior, it’s important to propose films that can afford a new awareness and a new perspective”, continues Anne Closset. “Agriculture and food are the pillars where the links of a community arise. Nowadays it’s urgent to worry about the suicides and the disappearance of farmers. Moreover, food industry with market monopoly offers us poisoned food. Problems are systematic, and we are in the middle of this system: I think that our behavior can influence the way the world works. When we realize that the world is us, we will become agents of change”.
This change is open to everyone, and the added value is the human factor, that is the support that consumers give to the producers in return for sustainable and high-quality products. The message of “Autrement (avec des lègumes)” highlights our power of action, the way our choices and behaviors influence our health and the health of our planet. As individuals and as a community, we can make the difference thanks to a more aware and responsible way of living.
“I make my films starting from singular experiences close to me and to my life”, concludes the director. “I like to make films which are useful to those who take part in it: for the audience, but also for me and my environment. Making a film is creating a new interaction with the reality, going together towards new opportunities. I often use a participatory shooting technique, and people forget about the camera. In this way, I have a spontaneous and authentic material. In this film the challenge was to compare the ‘I’ of the narration and the diversity of the “We’. The movie doesn’t follow the characters, but the life of different networks and the experiences in the city, which are a fertile ground for our future world”.