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Exchange, Gift & Theft

It took us over five years to complete FUTURE MY LOVE. In those years, awareness of economy changed dramatically.

In 2007, ‘economy’ was not really a hot topic and was mostly left aside for those who ‘knew what they were doing’. This surprised me because I feel so passionate about the subject. As if the economy – the way in which we arrange our physical existence together – didn’t have much to do with our daily lives.

I had started to understand how much our economy affects us, not just in our day-to-day affairs, but also in how we think and feel, and even how we deal with the way we love each other.

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Still from FUTURE MY LOVE

At first I was looking for a different way to manage my own personal romantic relationships. I found the 'hetero-normative monogamous norms' too limiting and even destructive, but I was struggling to find what I would want instead.

I found that it was easier to tear apart and be against, than trying something new – to ‘fight for’ something. So when I found thinkers such as Jacque Fresco who tried things outside political norms, I identified with them. I was more than ready to learn about new perspectives from which I could revalue the way I lived personally.

Then things started to fall apart. The economy crashed, my relationships crackled, and the film I set out make was no longer the one I could finish. The economic crisis became a crisis for the film, but as these things go, it also became an opportunity to discuss ‘economy’ for what it fundamentally is; as a human relationship, not just a banking system.

The economic crisis also made funders more interested in the topic, but ironically they no longer had the funds to support it. The whole production was full of contradictions like this and they kept appearing.

Give the film away for free?

The film explores the possibility of a world without money or barter, so instinctively the ‘right’ thing to do is to give it away for free.

However this is not how the film industry works, and if we want to reach an audience who are not active pirates on the web, or who are already interested in the topic (which has always been the hope with the film) we had to find some middle ground, or better still, a third option.

This quote is from the great Canadian filmmaker Peter Wintonick who died last week:

”I really see that we all possess, along with many other professions, a kind of big, dominant gene; the altruism gene. We are artists, we give our work to share and not to exploit. Educators, activists, engaged media people, scientists, environmentalists, doc people, and care givers are all givers. We believe in the gift economy rather than in the greed economy. We believe, like my heroes Gandhi and Mandela, we can live the change we believe in. Of course, everyone is born with the altruism gene, but it is usually beaten out of us by the time we are twelve years old." 

Peter Wintonick in a talk with Orwa Nyrabia for DOX #100

Even if we kept working on the film for free, we would still have rents to pay. We are as trapped in the system as the rest of the 99% of the world’s population who are not economically independent.

People have different opinions about pirating, and I have to say I agree with multiple sides of this argument: it is 'just' and 'rightful' to pirate and share important films for free, and it is 'just' and 'rightful' to respect copyright, because this will allow the creators to keep working and enable the film to reach out to people who would otherwise not get a chance to see it.

There are three known forms of economic transactions: exchange, gift and theft. So this is what we suggest to those who might want to see the film.

  1. Exchange: If you believe in paying for a product you can simply buy a VOD stream, or soon a DVD, or a screening license. We give you the film we've been working on, and you give us money. You can order it here.

  2. Gift: We give the film for free to an initial number of people and then give them the option to give it, or pay it forward, to someone else. You can find out here how it works. 

  3. Theft: You may choose to disregard what I have just said and "steal" the film in one way or another. But that would of course not be great for our plan, as we would rather see whether gifting could make a difference to people's perception about economy. 
    However, we have decided not to protect the film through digital rights management since we trust you to make your own decisions and don't believe in restricting its usage across different platforms.

The philosophy of the film is to think about things from different perspectives; to relate things that are not usually put together, creating new thoughts. We need new thoughts, in fact we need a whole new way of thinking to get out of this bad spiral of our physical existence – before it gets rid of us like any other virus. 

So we ask for your help to spread these thoughts and provoke debate about real change wherever you can! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

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commented 2013-11-30 23:32:47 +0000
True ‘piracy’ is the theft of peoples’ free time. Nobody needs to work. Robots and free energy devices (which are ridiculously easy to make) can take us there
@FutureMyLove tweeted this page. 2013-11-27 16:53:43 +0000
Exchange, Gift, Theft – #FutureMyLove director Maja explores solutions in the film world. Is gifting the way to go? http://www.futuremylove.com/exchange_gift_theft?recruiter_id=2

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