Crisis, crisis, crisis. Climate change, crashing economies, oceans depleted of fish and other natural resources fading away under human pressure.
We certainly live in times of great changes, some of which can be quite hard to grasp. And usually culture is a good companion, that can help us process and understand what is going on around us.
But when it comes to the environment, I’d say that culture hasn’t really kept pace with the course of events. At least in Sweden, rather few theatre plays, films and books take on the subjects of climate change and resource scarcity.
But there are a few. When I went to the festival Uncivilised earlier this summer, I happened to talk to the film maker and actor Håkan Julander. Together with Björn Engström he has taken on the difficult task of making films about our time’s big crisis – with a sense of humour.
– We certainly need heavy, expensive film projects like “Home” and “The Planet” , but it must also be possible to make entertainment about these issues.We can joke about everything else, so why not his? he tells me.
After trying different ideas without succeeding, he finally found economic support for the 10 minute short film Blue Marble Café. It’s made for a young audience (but I’d say it works for most ages) and takes place in fast food restaurants, where the cashiers disappear into a virtual room to get the food orders.
Like gods, they manoeuvre the global processes needed to produce the food, exposing all the eco system services needed to make a hamburger, the amount of water needed for a regular beer and the global environmental influence a medium sushi has.
The film was shown at the film festival in Cannes earlier this year and will tour to different short film festivals world wide and maybe also be shown on Swedish television.
And why the name Blue Marble Café?
The Blue Marble was the name of the photo that astronauts at the Apollo 17 took of Earth.
– Hopefully we can continue making films with the same concept. It doesn’t have to be about food. It would be equally interesting to see how the cashier uses the Blue Marble to get a t-shirt, a car or a mobile phone! says Håkan Julander.
Here are a few sequences from the film: