DVD-Review and recommendation by Helene Walterskirchen:
The Farmer & His Prince (2013) – a film by Bertram Verhaag
The documentary „The Farmer & His Prince“ was released in 2014 as a result of a 5-year long shoot. It was very well received in public, received countless positive press reviews and eight international awards. To add to the many examples of how this film has been praised by others would only rehash what we already know; instead, let us interpret it from our own, unique perspective. This I intend to do with this review / recommendation.
Once upon a time there was an English Crown Prince named Charles, who not only had everything that others dream of: money, possessions, luxury and land, a great deal of land, but also a dream or better a vision: a nature that is intact, and with people being in accordance with it, an agriculture that is not just about taking, but also giving, functioning according to biological and ecological principles, borne by the respect of those responsible for Mother Earth and all its creatures. That was in the early 1980s.
Looking for a suitable agricultural expert who would be able to realize his vision, the young Prince of Wales met the slightly younger David Wilson, who, although he did not have organic agriculture background, had an ecological nature, waiting to unfold. Both Prince Charles and David Wilson were not only sympathetic, but Prince Charles, the visionary met a (his) „mirror image“ who was able to absorb his vision and spread it into the world or reflect it to other people respectively – something the Prince could not do as a shielded heir to the throne. The major part of the film is therefore borne by David Wilson, while Prince Charles mainly remains in the background – constantly controlled by his Royal Press Office.
Beginning of the 1980s, the third in the league joined the „Visionary and the Vision Practitioner“, Professor Dr. Hartmut (Hardy) Vogtmann from Germany. Hardy held the then first chair for organic farming at the University of Kassel Witzenhausen. He was to act as consultant for the entire organic-ecological “Duchy Home Farm”-project in the property of Highgrove, the country estate of the Prince of Wales. The symbiosis of the three „agricultural spirits“ proved to be a direct hit.
Once ridiculed as an „eco-spinner“, Prince Charles is today admired worldwide for his tireless and unflinching work in the spread of organic agriculture. The laurels, however, according to his modest opinion, deserve another: David Wilson, the likeable, warmhearted and positive farm manager of his „Duchy Home Farm“.
The film is able to show like no other that agriculture can also work in a completely different way, human to be specific, largely natural, in mutual respect between human-animal and human-plants. Very pleasing and soothing in this film is the ethical and aesthetic sophistication, refinement and nobleness that draws from Prince Charles to David Wilson and is expressed by him as naturally as if he were himself an aristocrat. Hereditary aristocracy and aristocracy of the heart merge for both into a successful symbiosis and show that one can achieve success in this way too – it may take a little longer, but for that this success is not a selfish but an altruistic one.
DENKmal-Film Verhaag GmbH
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