Cineast 2020: The Circle
Original title: The Circle, Estonia 2019, dokumentary 95 min. VO EN subtitles,
Directed by Margit Lillak, Produced by Johanna Trass
Attempting to escape capitalist society, can one escape the trappings of human nature?
A group of 12 adults together with 6 kids step out of society as we know it, deconstructing the basic pillars of life - from nuclear family to education, advocating for sustainable living and non-violent communication. They scrap together their savings and buy an old manor lot in 2014, deciding to leave their customary life arrangement and build the first intentional eco-community in Estonia.
In her second feature documentary that turns into a Dogma-like performance, Margit Lillak provokes us to re-examine 'What is a community?' (or its core values) and 'What could an alternative model of society and culture potentially look like?' The director has been closely involved in the community processes, gaining intimate access to her protagonists and carefully observing “the human lab" of an eco-village in which, not only ecological but social sustainability models are put to the test.
When the two strong emancipated women, founders of the eco-community, fall into a power struggle and jeopardise the well-being of the whole community, one of them rightfully poses the question: "If I cannot solve this conflict inside me, and with a few people around me, how can one hope that people could find ways to reconcile after a war...?"