German director Carl-A. Fechner is known for his environmental documentaries. His latest, Power to Change, recently saw its British premiere at London’s Raindance film festival. The film is a follow-up of sorts to his 2010 documentary entitled The Fourth Revolution.
First, a question about the title of your last film, The Fourth Revolution. Why the fourth?
“We talk about three large revolutions. The first was the transition from the hunter-gatherer society to farming. The second was the industrial revolution, when manual labour was gradually substituted by machines. The third was the information revolution, where a data network created global connections. The fourth revolution is the transition to decentralised and sustainable energy, which is the topic of the film.”
The word ‘revolution’ makes you think about fighting against the establishment and for freedom. Does this also form part of the energy revolution?[ntsu_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BvEDUtOEEo
“Everyone knows that we are currently facing enormous problems in the world: poverty, hunger, lack of water, and injustice. Everything is connected, and the main issue linking them, as I see it, is the question of energy. A real change can only occur when power is handed to the people, and when they are given, as we say in the new film title, ‘Power to Change’”.
The title also refers to an energy revolt. What does this entail?
“The main idea is that anyone can be a rebel. You can change your energy supplier from fossil to green technology. You can participate in the blockade of a coal mine. There is a wide spectre of opportunities to get involved and make a difference – from being a protestor and activist to just choosing to implement new, green technologies. You can see this in my new film as well, where the story is about ten–eleven people who decide that they want to make a difference. They are rebels, but they do not live on the outside of society in any way. Take, for instance, the farmer who wants to invent a new method for making biofuel from bales of hay. He has genuine enthusiasm, but is also a businessman. You don’t need to take it too far. It is possible to be part of society and be a rebel at the same time.”
The choice is ours. So, the film is partly about innovation and new technologies –the argument seems to be that the new technologies are …
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