Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Dreaming the future

The personal is political we used to say in the early seventies. Planting our potatoes, living as a commune, and then sharing childcare. It mattered how you lived because we knew the structures of capitalism and the nuclear family disturbed our personal lives and so trying to live in a way that resisted them was part of our resistance to an unjust and oppressive society. Which we imagined would collapse, I think, out of its own contradictions, or maybe by the force of our righteous anger. It didn't, of course, it's contradictions and injustices have just become more intense, and now often seem to meet with a dull apathy whose close cousin is despair ). But we were right. The personal is political. Reflecting on all this after seeing a screening of Maja Borg's beautiful and haunting FUTURE MY LOVE (). There is a new world waiting to be born, and we live through its birth pangs as acutely as we suffer the death throes of the old. The film explores both, personally and politically, looking at the decline of our social structures in the context of the loss of a loving relationship. Change is so difficult. It's hard, as I remember it, just as it was hard to lose my old masculine self. John suffered, to be sure, but his suffering was something I was accustomed to, something I knew I could handle - as opposed to the new and terrifying sufferings awaiting me as Jo. This painful individual process needs to be collectively endured. It's unlikely we undergo it voluntarily. Intense suffering and collective breakdown will almost certainly be necessary to force us through it. The film somehow saw all this but refused to surrender to fear and despair. It focused instead on the work of Jacque Fresco ( a visionary scientist and dreamer who can see that there is an alternative to the grotesque injustice and destructiveness of our market-based economy and is devoting his life to creating it. So that in the end this very wonderful and profound film did what art must do in this time and place: help us dream a new world into being.
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