(2006, Catherine van Campen)
Ode to the crop – Dutch film portraying a group working to protect old vegetable varieties.
Ruurd Walrecht`s interest in historical crops began when he was very young. He started a life-long crusade to protect, preserve and maintain them. This Dutch Don Quichote of rare vegetables built an incredible collection of hundreds of crops that were on the brink of extinction. Suddenly, Ruurd moved to Sweden leaving his colourful mix of helpers behind. They tell the story of this master horticulturist and his Green Ark.
Eternal Mash is a visually exceptional film in which historical crops play a central role. The people portrayed in this film try, each in their own way, to live in harmony with their environment. Ruurd Walrecht tells the stories of the people who worked with him.
This film has been released as the general public showed a renewed interest for biodiversity, slow food and debates over gentech. Catherine van Campen remarkably approaches her subject in a subtle and personal way.
While the movie is broadcasted on Dutch TV, an international convention on biological diversity is taking place in Bonn (Germany). More than 5,000 delegates from all over the world come there to discuss the protection and the preservation of species and habitats, a sustainable use of biological diversity as well as a fair access to them.
The DVD of Eternal Mash can be ordered after the broadcast on television. A copy (with English subtitles) costs €17,- (including taxes and transport) for delivery in the Netherlands. Deliveries abroad will cost some extra for the transport. You can order a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catherine van Campen developed the scenario for this film in the IDFA workshop 2006 and won with it the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund Price of € 125.000,-.
Eternal Mash is her first documentary film.