A consideration on the human quest to explore the Exotic, constructed from amateur tourist footage and set to an original experimental techno score.
The film follows travelling group of people, sharing their personal video recordings from places such as India, Cuba or Etiopia, all transformed by one extraordinary experience. Their trans-like footage leads us through the banality of ubiquitous coverage to suddenly confronting the most amazing images, shot carefully from a unique perspective.
No DOP nor photographer has ever made these destinations look as fresh as these amateur films. Close-ups on the faces of people praying at the sacred river, slow-motion shots of reposing camels, a focus on unexpected details – like the sun standing still over a desert – masterpiece takes of unnamable beauty. These are rare gifts coming from an original point of view; found-footage work is edited with enormous empathy, poetry and humor, stunning images orchestrated with Zamilska contemporary electronic music.
The film compels us to embrace not only the perspective of an outsider, but within that, the nearpsychedelic state of constant incomprehension. How can we truly and effectively meet the residents of distant cultures? Is understanding between us even possible? Does tourism target or threaten poor countries, or is it perhaps still the only system we can count on? And what will come next after mass tourism?
The film questions both the limits of experiencing different cultures by citizens of the western world, and the topic ambition of becoming traveler instead of a tourist. Is it really possible to feel like a local in places like Africa, and to realize long-term friendships through repeated journeys? Or is this simply the next illusion being sold to us by globalization?
This is not at all the experience of conventional pre-packed group tours, but rather an effort to find a way of understanding the countless people all over the world who dare search for connection within the only framework we have available – Tourism. We are no more than them.