Muna Mussie, Alessandro Magania, Kasia Wolinska, Fabio Cipriano Romano, Simone Lanari
Ayman Nahle, Hinda Weiss
Shot in the village of Oliveto Lucano in the south of Italy, Autotrofia is simultaneously a documentation of a very ancient pagan fertility ritual that is still practiced in this region, and scripted fiction, based on writings by the painter Vassily Chekrygin and the scientist Vladimir Vernadsky. The scripted content of the film explores the ecological dimension of Russian Cosmism: a desire to transform and evolve in such a way that humans would not need to kill and consume any other living organism in order to produce the energy necessary for living, and instead learn from green plants how to generate nutrition directly from the sun. This idea, first developed at the turn of the 20th century, is juxtaposed with an older, pagan celebration of King Oak and King Holly: a harvest festival in which two trees that represent summer and winter are joint into one supernaturally tall tree, completing and connecting the seasonal cycle created by the orbit of our planet around the sun.