The project was a direct and spontaneous reaction to his personal impressions and observations during his photographic documentation of the shut down. The film expresses the fears about what a society could look like after the Covid-19 crisis. Even during the crisis, debates about the value of human life were already being held. What happens in our minds when the algorithms of the big technology companies continue to expand and take over the leading role. It will be a beautiful world… but at what cost?
The fiction of his first short film, “Future belongs to the youth” is inspired by different observations. The ethically unchecked developments of the technology corporations and the impressions, which Markus Schulze, a long-time photographer and freelance lecturer in photography, made during his documentation of the corona crisis. They become a warning in the form of a frighteningly imaginable model for the future.
The first short film by Markus Schulze (52), is driven and was created from his real observations of our world, which has come to a complete standstill in 2020. It has shown how quickly ethical positions have been softened in public discussion. Among other things in public discussions about the value of older people. In addition, the unchecked development of the large technology groups such as Apple and Google. Their ideas about the future promise benefits for all. But their world is clearly structured and is based on the cool specifications of calculated values of algorithms.
Language & narration:
In a possible, near future, an older father and his 8-year-old son are about to say goodbye. While the two of them are relaxed with each other and make selfies of themselves, one follows the inner conversation of the father with himself and dives into the soon to be world of tomorrow.
The father, talking to himself:
“My wife hates goodbyes. The emotions in public. … Today, one remains more controlled. I must have experienced another time, back then after the economic crisis, the collapse, the war. It wasn’t nice – but neither were the wars before that.”
Our possible and near future is presented in white, almost outshining pictures. However, the viewer is denied a detailed insight into the future world. It is the two protagonists who, through their dealings with each other and their father’s thought processes, depict the state of a society to come.
With the outshining white and the missing long shot, the film uses a specific effect in perception that arises when the viewer is deliberately deprived of information through blurring, details and close-ups.
The motif or story thus requires the personal experiences and stored intentions of the viewer; calls them up in order to use them as spare parts for the missing parts of the original and thus complete the impression. This strengthens the bond between the story and the viewer. The increased attention and the personal parts in the perception strengthen the identification with the story.
The white and the cut-out view of the film on the two protagonists offer this space for the own intentions. The viewer’s associations, triggered by the light-hearted interaction between father and son, confront the father’s retrospective questions about the meaning of his own actions in the vastness of the white.
Before everything seems to get lost in the non-colour, it is a leather-bound album with old family photos that can offer the next generation insights into aspects that will, however, have no place in the wonderfully designed and efficient future of the big global companies. To the viewer, the true price for this dazzling future is revealed frighteningly abruptly. In the own review you can find the many portents of the end of the movie. Perhaps it is the naturalness of the portrayal that could calm the viewer’s premonitions and hints. A process that resembles a self-awareness. The lingering between foreboding and cognition is symbolic of our actually low level of attention to the current developments of our time.
Background and implementation:
The fiction in the first short film by photographer Markus Schulze (52) is driven by real impressions of our world, which has come to a complete standstill in 2020.
It was at this point that he and his partner Mickey Auerswald began documenting the state and effects of the corona crisis in Cologne and Berlin. In addition, in March 2020, the two started a project to create a democratic documentation in the form of a photographic collection of submitted pictures by affected people. Currently, they are drawing attention to the threatening situation in the cultural sector with their protest action “ARTensterben”.
The background for the rapid realization of his short film “Future belongs to the youth” was his observations of the behavior of people in crisis. Somewhat the discussions about the calculable value of older people as well as the obviously increasing backward looking attitude of a society. Together with the growing influence of large corporations such as Apple, Google & co. on entire societies, a dangerous development is emerging, one is already talking about the dissolution of existing policy models. The ethically unchecked development of technologies is based on the functionality of the individual and the standardization of life models, in which alternative and individual life models and intentions will no longer have any place.
A short film idea similar in content has existed for some time. But the frightening realization that the fictional story, driven by the developments in the crisis and the growing influence of the corporations, could become reality in the near future, motivated Markus Schulze to realize the project promptly together with film student Sebastian Bexten at the camera.
The pandemic has completely overridden fundamental values of our society and made elementary concepts such as “time, weekdays or plans” meaningless. It has revealed an unfiltered view of our own, as well as the whole of our lives, and in doing so has openly shown who belongs to the losers and who belongs to the winners. Like in the film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” she gave us a worldwide time-out to rethink our own and general ways of life beyond the entrenched polarities.
It seems that the narcissist of our time prefers to continue to enjoy the delightful reflection of glittering promises of the future from the big corporations and those who put ideas into practice.
The film is a warning. It shows what can happen when everything is judged on efficiency and value. What happens when the value of each individual life can be determined, right down to determining the personal date of death. It will not only change the world, but above all, it will change people’s minds. The debates in the Corona Crisis have already shown that the elderly will be left out of the equation. The same applies to the dying of the cultural scene.
What can be done about it, the father shows in the 6-minute short film “Future belongs to the youth”.
Directed by Markus Schulze (Germany)