This documentary is a portrait of the lives of the inhabitants of Arribes, an isolated region of Spain, where self-sufficiency is a way of life. Producing 80-90% of what they eat and recycling everything, they show us a powerful, living example of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and environment we can all learn from.
“The film provokes a reflection about human being’s ability to live in a way less damaging to the environment. Words like sustainability, self-sufficiency, ecology, tradition, local food are used in the documentary, but are very present in the Arribes area although without anyone using them.”
“What is particularly interesting about his work, is that Zev is using the high tech tools presented to him: HD cameras, social media, digital video, planes, trains and smartphones, to present a slower, older, quieter world: where people take the necessary time to produce essentials such as food and wine; where century’s old cultural heritage is preserved.”
– Gwendolyn Alston, MocaMediaTV
Arribes Everything Else is Noise portrays the bittersweet lives of the inhabitants of Arribes, an isolated region of Spain, where sacrifice and hard work began at an early age, and where a simple lifestyle engenders a sense of community and happiness.
As people reflect on never owning a car or tractor, walking from village to village to go to communal dances, tending goats and sheep by themselves from preadolescence, and remembering the region when it was a green paradise, a picture emerges of an ecosystem where everything is used, recycled, and interconnected. Producing 80-90% of what they eat, and recycling their water and waste, they present us with a powerful, living example of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and environment we can all learn from. The erosion of this way of life is contrasted with the views of people from a younger generation who have moved into the area from urban areas.
Some Spanish with English subtitles.
Run time: 55 minutes
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Zev Robinson was born in Israel in 1958, moving to Canada when he was two where his main activities were painting and watching films. He debated whether to study film or art, but after a couple of years of film studies at McGill University (Montreal), he decided to do his BFA at Concordia University, graduating in 1983 and was granted the award for most outstanding student in the visual arts.
In 1983, he went to New York to complete his MFA at Hunter College, then moved to Italy in 1988, and subsequently lived in Glasgow, Madrid, Valencia, London, returning to a small village in Spain in 2005. While in London, he bought his first video camera in 2002, enabling him to fulfil a life-long dream of making films, creating many videos as installation and experimental-documentary pieces which were successfully shown in film festivals and art galleries.
In 2008, he started a documentary on wine in the Valencian region where he lives, looking at the unseen economic and cultural factors that influence its production. Finding many unique and fascinating stories, he continued working on similar projects, traveling some 20,000 kilometres across the Iberian peninsula, examining its rich cultural fabric.
His background as an artist gives his films a very strong visual element. The striking images are composed with great care and are the result of hundreds of hours of footage for each film, capturing everything from panoramic landscapes to minute details. The films have a strong structure based on engaging storytelling narrated by interweaving the fascinating, personal stories of the interviewees and the audio-visual elements.
Arribes: Everything Else is Noise is a continuation of his previous documentaries, looking at other aspects of rural Spain, not just wine, but agriculture as a whole and its relationship to people, food and sustainability, in a unique, isolated and self-sufficient region.