Contemporary documentaries have become trapped in the web of good intentions, reduced to either hyperbolized and often manipulated life bites or patronizing moralization in the name of some higher or ideal values that don’t really exist, or at least not in sustainable quantities.
There are no appropriate discourses either, be they conservative, liberal, catastrophic or idealistic, which could provide much needed epistemological comfort.
Hence this quest into Nothing, majestuous and scary, imminent and distant, everybody’s orphan. Nothing as a permanent possibility of new beginnings, Nothing as post-ideological deflation, Nothing as a cinematic response to the everything and the anything that we are so confusingly running after.
I personally don’t feel any emptiness in life, quite the contrary. I remember my best football moves way back to the early eighties; I’ve paid due respect to my parents, to my country, to most friends and to my personal religion; I have adorable kids, a resilient body and a playful mind.
Yet, it is the very conscience of Nothingness that makes our lives even more fulfilled, and provides the most honest ground for assessing our attitudes and achievements, both personal and professional – and one really doesn’t need to be a guru, a physicist or a philosopher to understand that.
The goal of this film is that each viewer experiences this positive potential of Nothing in his or her own individual way, through pure cinematic pleasure. If this little smile on the corner of your mouth remains until the end of the screening, the mission will be more than accomplished.
It is obvious that there couldn’t be a more pretentious documentary topic than this one, but this is exactly we will develop it as long as it takes to find the dramaturgy and the aestethics that will pay it due justice.
I would be most happy to brush this film for another 30 years and film it at the fine age of 68, but I don’t think that the overall idea would change.
What I want is to do is to make a cinema equivalent to the best satirical book ever, Erasmus’s “Praise of Folly”, in which Folly goes around the world convincing people that it is to smarter to be mad than to be smart. I want to do the same, 500 years later, in these new Middle Ages, with Nothing in the main role.