when a supersensible movie just isn’t enough

Some Steiner folks have suddenly become interested in reality, and ask: ‘Can you help this film become reality?’

If you’re going to make a movie about someone, at least you could try to tell us something interesting. This just isn’t. It’s boring, and Rudolf Steiner deserves better. It’s actually true, he does.

Who was this man whom many see as the greatest holistic pioneer of modern times?

This is why people laugh at anthroposophists. It’s not really Steiner’s fault. He’s either hailed as the greatest man ever or he’s not to be mentioned at all because his name is bad for PR reasons. Depending on circumstances, no doubt. I’m sure the people behind this film have thought that if they show everybody what a fantastic, super-human human being Steiner was, then people will stop thinking anthroposophists are in some kind of bizarre religious cult. But anthroposophists who admire Steiner unexceptionally, who write promo texts like this, only manage to do one thing: prove to us the cultishness is a fact. Hint: giving people the impression you’re brainwashed knuckleheads may not really be a good idea, unless you wish to appear like brainwashed knuckleheads. Another hint: making an utterly boring, hagiographic movie won’t bring a ‘potential for the generation of revenue’, I’m sorry to say. You cannot expect people — with the exception of anthroposophists and a few clueless waldorf parents — to pay for a promotional movie. It’s meant to sell a product — or a cult — and that’s neither appealing, nor interesting.

Also, in regard to the about-section, the filmmakers are right that people know too little about the person and the ideas behind biodynamic products, waldorf education, and so forth. Again, this seems to be a conscious tactic to some degree: talking about Steiner or anthroposophy is thought to be bad for business. Paradoxically, anthroposophists want to have it both ways. Depending on the context and the circumstances.

There will also be a sequence filmed during an international conference at the Goetheanum in Dornach. Such a gathering will illustrate how more and more people from all over the world are seeking to nurture and to deepen the insights that this Austrian scholar and visionary gave into every area of modern life, and above all into the nature of the evolving human being.

If nothing else, it will show that even anthroposophists can find Dornach on a map of Switzerland. I never suspected it…

The director — if the movie becomes reality — will be Jonathan Stedall, a documentary filmmaker (for, e g, the BBC) and author (published by anthroposophic Hawthorn Press). The producation company is Cupola Productions Limited and its adress is listed as that of the Ruskin Mill trust — an anthroposophical trust fund.


10 thoughts on “when a supersensible movie just isn’t enough

  1. I can’t understand any of the film ‘Recherchen auf dem Anthroposophenhügel’ of course, but I’m intrigued by the woman in the big hat gliding across the screen as if on castors.

    The film is very German – to English eyes. I have started automatically filling my pockets with earth from the nearest tunnel and forging identity documents for the Mrs Dogs.

  2. I don’t know which part it is, but there’s also this man — the general secretary I think — sitting at Steiner’s big anthroposophic desk… oh my. It’s amazing.

    And a woman imitating Steiner. She’d met him. It’s unforgettable.

    Lovely people, really. And interesting.

  3. Zooey, thetis,

    What a find! I never knew this film existed. And it was done in 1976, the very year I discovered Steiner in Houston, Texas, of all places. It may be the only outsider’s film about anthroposophy ever made. Right? Roman Brodmann was a well-known director who just happened to grow up in Arlesheim. So he films this as a curious outsider returning decades after he grew up and had left Arlesheim. Fantastic!

    How many parts on YouTube are there of Recherchen? I’ve only looked at the first one?

    And here I just translated the opening narration. We ought to make subtitles for it, Swedish and English.

    Arlesheim near Basel features the Swiss at their utmost typical. Everything is so clean there that you are tempted to wash off your shoes before setting foot on the street. I can say this because I grew up here, sheltered in a world that rested on virtually unshakable pillars. Tradition, authority, order, prosperity, God and country. Yet a slightly unsettling vibe would emanate from one or another weird figure who would occasionally walk through our streets and they did not look like our parents. These figures came from the neighboring village of Dornach, and the adults said: these are the anthroposophists. And from the pulpit of the cathedral, the parish priest Kully would rant all the time against a certain Dr. Steiner, of whom we had to assume that he had personal contact with Beelzebub over in Dornach in his temple of idolatry.

    Interesting that he talks about Fr. Max Kully (1878-1936) who fulminated against Steiner every Sunday and is one of the people said to be responsible for instigating the arsonist who burned the 1st Goetheanum. Clearly Roman is reporting what his parents told him.

    Roger has some stuff about Kully here:

  4. DIDN’T YOU KNOW ABOUT IT??? Really, that’s shocking.

    All parts are in those two posts of mine that I mentioned in this comment https://zooey.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/when-a-supersensible-movie-just-isnt-enough/#comment-5986.

    It’s at least an hour long, I guess.

    What surprises me most is that you must have missed when Michael Eggert mentioned it last year: http://www.egoisten.de/files/anthroposophenhuegel.html (though I see he showed the second part, not the first).

Comments are closed.