Olanda | © Viennale


Bernd Schoch (Germany 2019)
„60 days of waking up at 3am." Such is the summer for many people in the Carpathian area of Romania. They are gatherers, and when the season comes, they swarm the forests to look for mushrooms and berries. For people who are better off, foraging has become something like a desirable activity – an epitome of slow food. But for the protagonists of Bernd Schochs documentary, many of them members of the local Rom minorities, the hunt for first rate boletus is their way to make a living. An ancient way, as it is told by a female voice from off screen. Olanda is not just about a „commerce", even if this is certainly a main point of interest. It is also, albeit more indirectly, a case study about modernization: The gatherers, we understand, are working in the footsteps of their ancestors who used to do exactly the same. But nowadays the trade has become more institutionalized: There is fees and fines, there is a market even as far as Germany (which sends, in return, old sneakers and trucks), there is policing and competition from tourists. Not by coincidence the last word in Olanda is „nature" – nature gives, yet commerce takes. Olanda is a grand film about civilization as such. (Bert Rebhandl)


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