The sixth edition of Auroville Film Festival, with ‘Ever Slow Green’, opened talking about a fundamental side of Auroville’s history: the forests. Sometimes we forget that here, where now there is a tropical forest, there was once an arid desert. The film reminded us what really has been done here, and what we can really do in this world.
While the camera gently flows into the green, the testimonials, the histories of the people that came here in ‘68 and created this place, knowing nothing about afforestation or farming, but united by pure and strong intentions, make us look backwards with pride and – something extremely rare in an era where the world fears the future – with hearts that dream of what this place will be in a hundred years.

This film at Cinema Paradiso was followed by ‘The Departure’, an Indian short-film by Pratim Dasgupta, which reminded us how much work there is still to do about human rights, especially in this country where the disparity between men and women is still huge. But even when we are about to lose hope, this film, through the power of human contact, takes us by hand and makes us dream. It reminds us of the importance of stories. To laugh, to cry, but more than all, to become conscious of what’s beyond our personal field of vision. Likewise the film that closed the first day of the festival, ‘Styx’, took us into the heart of one of the biggest human crises of our era: the indifference and inhumanity towards the migrant and refugee situation. Bringing us there, bringing us into the core of the dilemma, it posed the question: what can I do? Can I really just pass by and do nothing? With all the risks and fears that taking an action involves, it shows us how much each person can do. And this is the feeling that this first day of the festival leaves with me: remembering the power of our actions, how much a single person can do. But it also emphasised the importance of dreaming, of stories and the role of cinema.

This festival, more than just a showcase of beautiful artworks, was a bridge that connected realities, memories, dreams and people. Human unity, more than being just a theme, was the goal, and the festival itself is a way to achieve it together.