Sog., F., M.: Jonathan Nossiter. Int.: Corrado, Giacomo e Giulia Dottori, Valeria Bochi, Giovanna Tiezzi, Stefano Borsa, Elena Pantaleoni, Gian Luca Farinelli, Stefano Bellotti, Giulio Armani, Anna Pantaleoni. Prod.: Santiago Amigorena, Jonathan Nossiter, Paula Prandini, Giacomo Claudio Rossi per Les Films Du Rat, Goatworks Films, Prodigy. DCP. D.: 85′. Col.
Often, especially today, a film idea is discussed, revised and honed for years before seeing the light of day. Sometimes, though, it comes into being compelled by an internal force that crushes all obstacles. The idea of making a film was a distant thought when Jonathan Nossiter gathered four winemakers and a cinematheque director at Pacina in the Siena countryside at the end of summer in 2013.
It must have been the meal, the magic location, the right company, Jonathan’s galvanizing, his ability to shoot live, along with Paula, playing with the surprises of improvisation. While the food was being prepared, an unusual discussion arose on why we do our work (winemaking and film preservation), and with it the idea, the need for a film took over Jonathan: Natural Resistance. Nossiter made an open, brave film that deftly combines political and poetic arguments. A film that addresses the big issues of our present by creating a conversation between films and winemakers, an original relationship between different cultures. Between those who work on transmitting our cinematographic heritage and those who produce wine according to age-old methods.
We live in a time of transition, between two centuries, between two millennia, in which the only thing certain appears to be the need to wreck and to physically destroy the means and the places of the past, to intangibly delete cultures and experiences.
Film is no longer central to the media universe. Theaters are closing or shrinking in size. Digital technology is replacing the use of film. But today more than ever anyone can make a film, and the language of moving images permeates the life of the inhabitants of the earth. For the first time in human history, the number of people living in the city exceeds the number of rural inhabitants. And yet today more than ever there is a spreading global awareness that we need to reconsider our lifestyle, to protect our planet and to revive working the land. Are the winemakers the vanguard of a vaster movement that demands rethinking the financial rules driving national governments or a last pocket of resistance of a world destined to be erased? The questions Jonathan asks have no answer, but his provocation captures the complexity of our present.
Is it the duty of a film archive today to await the continuously announced death of cinema or to renew its strategy by thrilling audiences and creating in them an appreciation of moving images that is deeper and richer than the one they risk having today from seeing films that are all the same?
At festivals as at wine fairs repetition of the same threatens to eradicate the emotion of diversity, the most valuable experience human culture has to offer.
The years that lie ahead of us are crucial to defining the world we will leave behind to our children. A world where culture is shoved in the corner and all diversity is burned to make way for imperative economic growth or a world that cares about the future and therefore cherishes the past? Natural Resistance is a small contribution to these considerations.
Gian Luca Farinelli