Roden und Reden
Feature-length documentary, 90 minutes, planned completion: 2014
Direction: Andreas Schwab, Simon Baumann
Production: ton und bild GmbH
Emotions ran high: Whereas some people regarded the in 1973 founded international country cooperative as a productive experiment, others feared the alternative economic and social model of Longo maï as a highly dangerous lure for a seducible youth. Press campaigns were launched against the "sect", authors like Max Frisch, Friedrich Dürrenmatt and Adolf Muschg wrote apologias.
Emotions cooled down but Longo maï persisted: Nearly 40 years after it's foundation the cooperative still exists, appropriate to it's name, which is Provençal for "Long may it last"! By now there exist, along with the primary cooperative near Limans in Provence, France and the headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, many more connected cooperatives in France, Germany, Austria, Ukraine and Costa Rica. Longo maï doesn't need to worry about young successors and they hardly need any advertisment: There are always young people who are enthusiastic about the country life and join the cooperative.
In our film we visit today's residents of the country cooperative Longo maï. Who are these people who join this idealistic group for only 15 Euros pocket-money a week? What are their personal and political hopes and goals? In the cooperative there are persons from the founder's generation living closely together with persons who only recently left their previous lives behind. This cohabitation is not always free of conflicts, there are different opinions on everyday activities, as well as on the political orientation of Longo maï.
The film is tracing this conflict of the genenrations in various portraits and examines the past and future of the cooperative Longo maï by using the agricultural year of the sheep as the thread.
The subliminal central theme of the film is the creation of future social and economic models. What kind of economy and social life do we wish for? Does the model of Longo maï regain topicality with the current financial crisis? Therefore, the film "Longo maï- Roden und Reden" will be an indicator of the current situation of our society.