We Have Time is a new film with permaculture as inspiration and solution at its core. Unmissable for each of us within the permaculture community (and beyond) and a great educational tool.
In 2019, thousands of young Belgians held weekly demonstrations to demand their right to a more sustainable future. Filmmaker, Luc Dechamps, accompanied them, captured their emotions and recorded their concerns, gathering their questions and rather wonderfully their own answers and demands which are often direct, simple and inspiring.
In the film he also travels through Belgium and Australia where he meets people already living sustainable lifestyles. A unique intergenerational encounter shows that it is not only about protests and demands, but about extraordinary and remarkable actions.
The film is choc-a-block with permaculture teachers and uses humour to point out the most simple of solutions that they offer. When visiting Neo-Peasant Patrick Jones in Australia he mock asks him if he is really going to drink rainwater “won’t you die?” he asks. This refers back to the simplicity of the children and young people’s take on how older generations have chosen to live (the film constantly refers back, almost like tender Fact Checking). “We want change, we warn them, but they do nothing,” says one young person to camera. Direct. Simple.
We are walked through the absurdity of how many millions of gallons of oil are burnt each year to create bottled water but more importantly, shown solutions. There is a brilliant section on P.A. Yeoman’s Keyline landscaping technique, maximising the beneficial use of water resources. His Yeoman’s Plough, is held up as an example of appropriate technology - it cuts thin and deep, avoiding the disruption/compacting of a traditional plough, allowing soil to quickly regenerate (one farmer says it has saved him 20 years).
The highlights from some of permaculture’s finest keep coming - Charlie Mgee beautifully singing “trees eat us all in the end, so plant one for me when I’m gone” wonderfully links to many of the themes within the film on the natural cycle of life (view and enjoy the song here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwwMou-2558).
We see David Holmgren answering questions from young people (again, it is direct and funny). A Wood Bank, a Seed Bank and a Cellar Bank (store) are held up as ‘banks with a real value’. Sue Dennet shows us how she works with trees and wildlife in a dry landscape, whilst also being outside in her own ‘green gym’.
Luc says that the second of his two companion films, A Living Earth, “could have easily been titled ‘Permaculture for Dummies’. He spends a year in the Belgium town of Spa, following experts, trainees and children alike (treating them equally) who open his eyes to the possibilities of sustainable ecosystems.
Permaculture brings together science and art, ergonomics and design (or as one participant puts it “functionality, harmony, beauty, desire, intention”).
This too is a great educational film. It states that there is nothing ‘new’ in permaculture. But, the idea is not to go back to the ‘old ways’ but to use today’s knowledge as regards our biosphere’s limits. Did you know the word ‘-cide’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘kill’, used in the formation of compound words like pesticide). Again, recommended.
To rent We Have Time, or to watch the trailer, visit: www.wehavetime.tv to buy both DVDs (including the PM reader’s offer above) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Rollinson, Permaculture Magazine