Well... if no one elses starts, i'll do it
(Oh and sorry if this turn out to be a way-too-long post - sometimes i just ramble. A lot.
Anyway, as i've had the chance to tell you, i really loved it!
First than anything, i can't help but being human and start with how i relate what i've seen in the film with my personal experience and the way it affected how i situate myself in the Forest. It hasn't been a month since i arrived and the whole concept of non-hierarchically-autonomous community was something i've never been in touch with. Not only because i've never looked for it before but also because i grew up in a country where hierarchy is a cultural must have.
That was one of the main reasons why i've applied for the EVS at the Forest - i was absolutely smitten by the concept and knew it was exactly the kind of new experience i needed in my life.
Despite this, and as with everything else, a few paragraphs resuming the concept will never be enough to fully understand the whole scope of the Forest action and impact on the people that make this community. Ever since i arrived it has been really important to me to understand as much how does the Forest work and what does the Forest do.
Slowly, i've managed to start understanding these issues but there was one point still a bit blurry - the people. Who were the "foresters", what was the bigger soul-creature lurking behind every effort and dedication i've had already realized so many people put into the Forest. 'Why' has always been a omnipresent word in my life and this was no exception. Not that i couldn't understand the obvious in-your-face why, quite clear every time you walk in through the Forest door. But there was still an important and central key missing.
The film finally gave me the clear answer i was looking for. I wish i could clearly express it in words but you've managed to show it so well with the film that i've been trying for days to translate that consciouness into clear sentences and i still can't. That difficulty in a logical vocabulary translation is probably the biggest secret of the Forest and the reason why it really is so special. And when i saw the film again yesterday the whole [S+P2] formula somehow made more sense to me. Equations are our representation of the basic bricks of reality and i loved it how, to me, you really have to go as far as that to explain the forest in it's most basic shape/sense.
And it wasn't only that one side of the screen; i managed to grasp that notion from this side of the showing as well, with the way everyone on the room reacted to the different moments of the film. This dual consideration is always important and, in the case of the Forest, i think more than anywhere else.
The whole discussion that followed the showing was really interesting and all of the questions quite pertinent. I think the one that tickled everyone's confort zone was definitely the barring process and the Forest values, leading inevitably to a discussion on freedom. These are always a bit tricky mainly because you'll always end up discussing 'limits'; particularly for an autonomous collective like the Forest, i think that the discussion after the film was a good example of that.
Some people said that the movie portrayed a negative image of the Forest because of the particular focus it made on one complicated situation. I don't think it was that focused on that situation as many people seemed to think and i don't feel like it portrayed a negative image of the Forest. I got the impression that, to many of the people present in the café on that day, it meant more probably because they knew the situation and the people involved beforehand and, in some way, were more emotional attached to it.
To me, being completely unaware of the whole situation and knowing only what you showed on the film, i definitely don't think it gave a negative image of the Forest. Quite the contrary: to me it all showed an effort on dialogue, awareness and inclusion - because by the end of the day it IS a community and efforts must be made from both sides (collective and individual) - and you can never be too conscious of that.
Considering this film as a way of communicate the Forest's mission and work i think it does the job pretty well. Some people showed in the discussion some doubts about it's viability as a sort of banner for the Forest. Well, it's not an advertising film in the institutional way and it definitely wouldn't spark as much curiosity and interest as it did if it were only a bunch of images from all of the Forest spaces and faces put together in a too-optimistic-to-be-true-way.
On a general impression, i think the film managed to praise the Forest as a bold and courageous inovative project (oh so many adjectives!) who, inevitably, will have sometimes to face complicated and sensible situations (even more complicated because being something unique, the problems will be unique as well) but, that in the end of the day, will always be worth the effort because of what it gives back to people (conclusion which i felt you showed perfectly with the 'happy birthday' moment - that was a untainted moment of emotion which any human being is able to recognize, even if he or she can't find a word to describe it).
I think the film deserves to be used as a way of divulging the Forest because i believe that 'outsiders' will definitely respond very well to what they're being shown.
I was actually thinking (i don't know if you would be interested in that) in trying to contact the portuguese public television - they have two channels and the second one is mostly devoted to documentaries, short films, etc. They're quite open to this sort of film and i think there might be a good chance of getting them to broadcast it. If that is something you would be interested in, just let me know and i'll bugger the tv-guys until they bend to my will
Oh well, thank you for the film. I loved it. I really did
Sorry for the huge post. Ahaha