Feature film in a phase of research, funding and developement.
What happens when the creative mind of an artist becomes infected with thoughts of looming climate catastrophe? He goes to a therapist and starts sharing his dark visions with her: he is alone on a dead planet, trying to find food, shelter – in short, to survive. However, he can’t do any of these things, and so the various comically clumsy activities inevitably take on the form of rather artistic actions. But in the light of scientific knowledge, isn’t unrestrained artistic frenzy the only dignified response to the ongoing climate crisis?
Climate change has already become the number one issue – we know the scientific warnings, we know the approach of industry and marketing, which tries its best to be green but basically continues with the current regime. So the really significant changes are taking place within each of us, and rather than pondering the future use of fossil fuels, they are leading us to ask pressing questions and interrogate the meaning of our own existence. Is there any point in trying anymore? To start a family, to form relationships, to create art? Is is his own fears and nightmares that director Vladimír Turner decided to visualise in his artistic and cinematic experiment The Native.
In the film, the Native is Turner himself, who comes to a therapist and confides his dark visions to her: he is alone on a deserted and dead planet, learning new skills, the knowledge of which was not needed in the extinct world thanks to the pervasive consumerism. He makes fire, he clothes himself, he seeks sustenance. All this using elements of an already collapsed civilization. In the timelessness of the post-apocalyptic landscape, the fire is lit with a flare, the tent is made of golden aluminium thermowells referring to the climate crisis that once took place, and the animals are hunted in absurd ways that reflect vague memories of advice from generic backwoods manuals and trips to the countryside with grandfather rather than a real knowledge of nature. The activities needed for survival thus necessarily take the form of artistic interventions.
The fragile existence of the planet’s last inhabitant is commented upon by his Talisman. He gives him advice on how to build a hut, but at times he also appears as an inner voice and conscience that no one cares to hear. The apparent reference to Mr. Wilson from the hit movie Cast Away is just one of many that the author of The Native cites audiovisually.
The game that the film plays with the viewer through the therapy sessions and the Talisman escalates and raises an uncomfortable question: is the director really just giving vent to his fantastical imaginations in the therapeutic dialogue, or are we already watching a real Native who is only remembering his old therapy sessions?
Text by screenwriter Hynek Trojánek