UK-Sweden (2012). Dir: Maja Borg, Scr: Maja Borg
When Jacque Fresco met Einstein, “he just wanted to talk about Boolean geometry”. He wasn’t interested in people. It was symptomatic to Jacque of our cultural inability to apply science for the benefit of man. Jacque is an industrial designer, industrial engineer and “futurist” and one of the three stars of Future My Love, a film audiences cannot help but applaud. They applaud because it makes them think: “There might be a better way”. But, for us, it deserves applause because it is a brave, beautiful and moving film that succeeds despite there being no easy categorization for it. It is a poem about (lost) love, a road-movie and an essay, with music that moves both the soul and the feet, narrated gently in the sweetest Swedish/Scottish accent. At its core is an aesthete’s eye, sharp intelligence and the most disarming humility and honesty.
Maja Borg was researching content for a film critique of the economic system when the financial crisis hit. At about the same time, her long-term personal relationship broke down. It had a profound effect on her – she felt incomplete: “ Yours is not the kind of love you can learn to live without”; she was bitter and felt betrayed, “How could you not tell me of your pregnancy?”; she was diffident and vulnerable, “If my way of loving makes me lose the people I love…”. The film is (literally) a labour of love, a putting together of the pieces over several years, an interwoven narrative in which the personal journey is critical to the way she sees the flaws of a system we are wedded to and the challenge of change. We sense she was angry, but now more thoughtful.
Maja hitches to Venus – the town: three churches, no bars – to spend time with Jacque, now 93 years old, who set up The Venus Project with Roxanne Meadows to design and develop a community of the future. He is fascinating in his passionate, steadfast view of the need to apply science and technology to the design of a better society, based on collective ownership of the world’s resources by the world’s people. But he believes nothing will change until the old order collapses. Footage of Jacque, filmed in HD colour, is blended with sections of archive film and lovingly, dreamily shot Super 8, mainly black and white, sequences of Maja’s former lover, the second star of the film. It is the depth of this layering, the abstraction and parallel narrative that makes the film so much stronger than it would be as a simple, linear piece on the economic system.
But the main star is Maja herself. She doesn’t have all the answers, saying, “If we can do this much damage, we can do so much good”, but she is confidently unafraid of technology and knows that we need more than just to be nice to each other. So, while we worry – as does her mother – that she has chosen a difficult path for herself, we leave the cinema with the feeling that Maja might just change the world. We hope she does.