"Electric taxis for everyone"
By Gustavo González*
Filmmakers should touch on issues that are transcendant for society, such as environmental problems, suggests Chilean director Orlando Lübbert, whose award-winning film includes a taxi as one of its stars. "All automobiles pollute," he warns.
SANTIAGO - Chilean filmmaker Orlando Lübbert, 57, continues to rake in international awards, ever since "Taxi para tres" (Taxi for Three), which he wrote and directed, won top honours at the 2001 San Sebastián Film Festival.
The creator of the winningest film in Chilean movie history spoke with Tierramérica about his career, power, ecology and -- of course -- taxis.
Q: Do taxis pollute?
A: Of course they pollute. All automobiles pollute. Although in Spain, as I recall, there were natural gas taxis for a time. That was an improvement.
Q: So, natural gas taxis for Chile?
A: What there should be are electric taxis. If electrical power plants had not been given away to foreign interests… Electricity in Chile is like a gift from heaven. It comes from the rain and from the rivers of the Andes (hydroelectric power). The logical thing would be to have electric taxis and trolleys.
Q: How could the film industry help to raise awareness about this
A: By making it into a central theme. We have to touch on issues and problems that are transcendent in our socieites. Even if we aren't taken seriously and they think we don't pose a threat. We filmmakers have not yet achieved a level of danger that allows us to be taken seriously.
Q: Do governments listen to filmmakers?
A: We have been a bit like the cherry on the cake, an element through which governments in general can show off. Now we have a government in Chile that has a sincere interest in developing culture. But we live under a system of film marketing and the people who offer "film as merchandise" obey other interests. It is very difficult to find individuals among them who are interested in issues like cultural identity or the environment.
Q: Your favourite colour?
Q: What about green?
A: Green is also a wonderful colour.
Q: You lived in Germany. There the Green Party maintains quite a
A: Yes. They started off very small, and maintained a strong development. Now they have been tempted by power and all that it entails.
Q: There are those who say the Greens are leftists who were
left behind by history.
A: Could be. But it's a good thing, if that's the case. I have met ecologists of different viewpoints, some nearly religious. If we are defending nature we don't need to be wondering if the father of someone was a communist or whatever. We are facing a global problem. There were atrocities committed against nature in the Soviet Union. The communists should be learning by now what it means to defend nature.
* Gustavo González is an IPS correspondent.