We are kicking off our month of excitement, leading up to our 2nd International Strasburg Film Festival with announcements regarding our event, which benefits the Shenandoah County Public School District’s Theatre Programs. Today we’re featuring “Kiruna – A Brand New World” a delightful documentary from the Czech Republic. It will be played during our Saturday 6:30 PM screening at Box Office Brewery. Now let’s look at a personal essay that Greta Stocklassa submitted to us about making her film.
This film is very personal. I have lived divided between two homes, two identities. I was born in the Czech Republic, growing up in a Czech-Swedish family, spending seven years in Sweden. I never really fitted into either of these worlds.
The main characters in the film are living similar lives. Their identities are endangered and their homes will disappear soon.
As well as the whole city. Is it really that easy and profitable to leave and destroy your home for good as we are told by the mining company together with the local government? Is Kiruna a place no one cares for?
Kiruna is a place where destruction and the ideal world of a prosperous society meet. It is placed at the edge of civilization, beyond the polar circle, in an unfriendly minimalistic landscape. According to the original plans, the meaning of the place was strictly utilitarian.
All basic services are for meant for iron extraction; the rest is only secondary. Yet, people are trying to live meaningful lives, have families, build houses, mown lawns… They are building their homes there. There is a very clear ultimatum floating above that all.
Despite the fact that similar situations such as in Kiruna have already occurred in history, for example in Most, Czech Republic, this case is unique. The city has used its difficult situation and made it into a sensation.
The newspapers from all around the world has started writing about the little city above the polar circle, with its 15 000 inhabitants, which is to become the most modern city in the world. But how do the people that live there feel about the relocation?
What does Kiruna mean for them and how do they imagine their ideal city? Are they in charge of their own lives or are they just victims of a predetermined cycle?