"It is a tragedy of the first magnitude
that millions have ceased to use their hands
... this great gift...
It is highly likely that a time will come
when we shall be so incapacitated and weak
that we shall begin to curse ourselves
for having forgotten the use
of the living machines given to us by God…"
Synopsis: Against the backdrop of the diminishing supply of oil - the lifeblood of the industrial paradigm - Gandhi's message, which is very much at the heart of this short film, regarding the loss of knowledge of the human machine, is perhaps more poignant now than when he spoke those words.
In many industrial nations a Scythe Renaissance of sorts is now well beyond the stage of the first green shoots. Although still growing at a relatively slow rate, it signals a glimmer of hope. The phenomenon, as it blossoms, could meaningfully contribute to the multicoloured fabric Gandhi had hoped would be woven -- everywhere.
What he referred to as the concept of Swadeshi (local self-reliance/the economics of permanence) runs far deeper than how to meet the physical challenges of colonialism that were relevant to his time, or those of 'peak oil', climate change, etc., that are relevant to us.
In this short, the "Angel with a Scythe” does more than demonstrate one of the alternatives in the realm of sustainable agriculture and landscape care; not only does she, with a hand tool, run rings around a ‘dead’ tractor for which no more fossil fuel is available, she does it silently, and alone.
The meditative nature of mowing with a scythe has, for centuries, been the epitome of the personal rewards gleaned while working with the land – rewards that were sought, scythe in hand, by thinkers such as Tolstoy and Tennyson. For many, it is the 'bliss' of using a scythe, as much as (or more than) the surprising efficiency of the tool, that turns them into dedicated hand mowers. C/O film festival TV
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