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LESSONS OF THE OLD ELITES

What are the lessons that can be learned from the old members of the Dutch ruling class for tomorrow’s society?

This is a project that Chai Locher developed in the IDFA workshop 2009. It is pitched to producers and commissioning editors at IDFA and was in competition for the big development price of 125.000 euro that is connected to the workshop. (Here’s a little video about this year’s price at the IDFA-site.)

With a series of interviews with the pensionados of the old intellectual elite and aristocracy we’ll try to grasp some of their insights on how to lead a society, how to live together and how to deal with challenging changes in society. We think it can be of use for today’s world where simplicity and shallow populism lead the public debate. And where polarisation and playing on fears seems to be the way to electorial success. Was this the case when the old elites were in charge? It seems to conflict with their ways of doing, that all center around politeness, intellectual approach and modesty. What are the lessons that they might want to give to the future world?

Central element in the film is the monthly concert in the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, where they meet and chitchat. From that we portray the main characters of the film, and speak with them about the themes they think are important. A voice over leads us from theme to theme.

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