Perspectives

by Helene Moltke Leth

I think it is my job as a filmmaker to stand outside society and look into it, to draw impressions into me. These impressions become ingredients, and the ingredients are finally transformed into a dough. Then the dough must be given a form and baked with precision.

The ingredients for my film Running Through Life were: Stress; “We should have surplus energy in our part of the world”;  The pressure on the individual; Increasing standardization; Short-term work contracts by the employer; “Brand yourself as a product”; Gender equality, Inequality between rich and poor in Europe is increasing; My digital footprint; Human contact is being sucked out of our societies; Artists and investigative journalists have become tame to fit into the market economy; The demand to always be willing to adapt and be available

The idea for this film came to me one night when I could not sleep. The idea was clear. I knew how the film should look visually. I knew that I wanted to manipulate beats out of the sound of the actress’ breath and her running footsteps, and that these beats should be part of the music composed for the film. I knew that the text for the inner voice had to be written from the following considerations:

– The text must have a serious thoughtful tone that is occasionally interrupted by humour and self-irony.

– The text must be tight, with an intimate tone.

– The text must be about the basic human things in life.

– The text must have a rhythm, which has a direct life.

– The text should say what many people think, but they never say out of fear for not appearing perfect and successful.

– The most important thing for the text is that it has to penetrate the audience’s defenses.

– The text must be thought-provoking.

People in the western world are stressed out. People are stressed out because we believe that we don’t make enough money, we don’t look beautiful enough, and we are not successful enough.

Running Through Life is a real call to arms against our petty consumerist society. The film seeks to spark a debate about modern life, of which stress is a well-known factor. We are not created for the distractions and pressures that the modern lifestyle offers us. Our stress responses are triggered too often and too harshly, and as a result we are constantly teetering on the edge of burning out. We strive forwards in the belief that the stress will pass, but it exacerbates the problem. We need to debate the human condition that is undergoing tremendous change in contemporary existence.

 

Almost everybody has bought into the idea that you can only be a happy, successful human being in a certain way, and if you are not a happy, successful human being, it is your own fault and it is your responsibility to fix yourself. That puts an enormous pressure on the individual.

We think we have to be more successful and then someday, we will have time for the basic things we really dream of…. But maybe that day will never come?

And because we don’t think we are successful enough and we don’t have surplus energy, we consume way too much entertainment and other things that we don’t really need. Then all of a sudden the politicians have become entertainment figures full of fake glamour, or liars who promise us that everything will be great again, while the poverty and inequality in our countries is increasing, and we are on the brink of destroying our planet.

 

Running Through Life received the audience award of the forum be a better being

Jan-Hendrik Olbertz with Helene Moltke Leth after the award ceremony.

Jan-Hendrik Olbertz and Helene Moltke Leth after the award ceremony.

 

image of Helene Moltke Leth

is film director of our audience award winning short film “Running Through Life”. Her oeuvre embraces documentaries as well as fictional films. She is also producer and managing director of MixtureFilm.

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