Shot in the village of Oliveto Lucano in the south of Italy, AUTOTROFIA is simultaneously a documentation of a very ancient pagan fertility ritual that is still practiced in this region, and scripted fiction, based on writings by the painter Vassily Chekrygin and the scientist Vladimir Vernadsky. The scripted content of the film explores the ecological dimension of Russian Cosmism: a desire to transform and evolve in such a way that humans would not need to kill and consume any other living organism in order to produce the energy necessary for living, and instead learn from green plants how to generate nutrition directly from the sun. This idea, first developed at the turn of the 20th century, is juxtaposed with an older, pagan celebration of King Oak and King Holly: a harvest festival in which two trees that represent summer and winter are joint into one supernaturally tall tree, completing and connecting the seasonal cycle created by the orbit of our planet around the sun. (Anton Vidokle)
Production Francesca Andriani. Production company 10D film (Rom, Italy). Written and directed by Anton Vidokle. Cinematography Ayman Nahle. Editing Ayman Nahle, Hinda Weiss, Anton Vidokle. Music Alva Noto. Sound design Eli Cohn. Sound Nocturnal Sound. Costumes Comune di Satriano di Lucania. Assistant director Giuseppe Barletta. Production manager Ivan Buttiglieri. Executive producer 10D film. With Muna Mussie, Alessandro Magania, Kasia Wolinska, Fabio Cipriano Romano, Simone Lanari.
Anton Vidokle, born in 1965 in Moscow, Russia, is an artist and editor of e-flux journal. He lives in New York and Berlin. His work has been exhibited internationally at museums, art institutions, and biennials and screened at film festivals.
Films: 2002: Salto de Agua. 2003: Nuevo. 2010: Guiding Light (with Liam Gillick, 21 min.), New York Conversations (64 min.). 2012: Two Suns (with Hu Fang, 24 min.). 2014: 2084: A Science Fiction Show/Episode 1 (with Pelin Tan, 68 min.), This Is Cosmos (31 min., Forum Expanded 2015). 2015: A Museum of Immortality (26 min.), The Communist Revolution Was Caused By The Sun (33 min., Forum Expanded 2016). 2017: Immortality for All: a film trilogy on Russian Cosmism, (96 min.). 2019: A I O U (with Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, 30 min., Forum Expanded 2020), Citizens of the Cosmos (30 min., Forum Expanded 2020). 2020: Autotrofia.