Amour Fou on European Goa Dance Floors
A feature film about love, Psytrance and the meaning of Life
It is an exiting portrait of the Goa scene, a romance and a declaration of love to the Psytrance scene. The filmmakers from Berlin, Lena Geller and Matthias Becker created a film, that will inspire Psytrance freaks and take curious people into a new world.
The film is about the intellectual party poopers Georg (Grégoire Gros) and Vera (Eva Kessler) from Berlin. They are both stuck in their lives. She is at odds writing her PhD thesis. He experiences rejection as a freelance journalist. When they are just about to leave on a holiday trip to the Baltic Ocean, Georg gets offered to write a report about the Goa scene. So instead of going to pick up shells between beach chairs, they end up on the Antaris Festival. And that’s not all. They get to know the DJ Dave Zuma (Adam Nümm). And because they don’t really have anything to lose, Georg and Vera spontaneously drive with him in his hippie bus to festivals all across Europe, to the Balkans and further South. The journey of their life begins – accompanied by a good choice of music like tracks from Ajja and Cosmo.
Goa society inspires to make radical decisions
On that trip, Georg, Vera and Dave develop a passionate Amour Fou. They experience closeness, conflicts, hate, love and they understand: All of that means being alive. While being surrounded by the Goa society, that rates freedom, love, joy of living and togetherness higher than all social differences, they love, suffer, start to think and get free off restraints to make radical decisions.
Film crew just discovered Goa festival scene
It was on a indoor Psytrance party in Berlin in 2011, when the screenwriter and director Lena Geller and producer and cinematographer Matthias had the idea to make a film set in the Goa festival scene. Until that time, both had just been on small Goa events. “We discovered the European scene together with our film characters“, says Matthias. With their idea they were pushing at open doors of the veterans of the scene, festival organisers and artists. “We got welcomed everywhere with open arms“, says Lena.
Filming on Goa festivals from Antaris to Tree of Life
The film team consisted of twelve people traveling more than 100 days in 2011 and 2012 to twelve festivals. They drove around 20,000 kilometers in two old cars and a colourfully painted caravan. They filmed on festivals like Spirit Base in Austria and Hungary, Life Celebration in Croatia, Paradise in Austria, Antaris in Germany, Ozora in Hungary, Sonica in Montenegro, Aurora in Greece, Universal Religion in Nepal, Tree of Life in Turkey, Boom in Portugal and Psy-Fi in the Netherlands.
Life-threatening situations while filming
But not everything went smoothly. “On the Island Samothraki, I almost fell off a mountain. Filming in the sea, the Portuguese waves of the Atlantic Ocean almost swept away our only camera”, explains Matthias. Car breakdowns, corrupt border officials, drug controls, camping without privacy were part of the trip. Lena explains: “Under those conditions, tensions are inevitable. Many team members say, that this journey has changed them essentially.”
At the moment, “You are Everything“ is featured at film festivals worldwide. The crew is searching for a film distributor. Afterwards the film will be released on DVD/BluRay.
Grégoire Gros (Georg)
What was your most beautiful experience while filming?
On the fourth festival, I started dancing for the first time. Alone on the dance floor, three to four hours open air. Floating. I had only one beer. I danced myself into a sphere, that I had not experienced before. I’m grateful for that.
Were the border controls as tricky as shown in the film?
The situations at the borders towards the Balkan states were tense. In Greece, the drug controls got extreme. A caravan full of hippies making a movie: The border officials put their focus on us. They knew about the festivals.
Is there anything about the Goa festivals, that you take a critical look on?
It gets difficult, when the Goa movement gets sold instead of being lived. When it is used to fill a gap in the market. When entry prices and surrounding fences are high. It should be about the spirit to meet people, to create something. I liked the feeling of being a community, which I rather had on small festivals. Also Ozora managed that balancing act.
Adam Nümm (Dave)
Have you been connected to the Goa scene before making the film? And are you a real DJ?
No. I was not connected to the Goa scene. I have discovered Berlin’s techno scene quite well. But the Progressive floor is right up my alley. And yes, I do djing in different locations, mostly techno-sets.
How did you film the DJ scenes?
In the film, nothing of this is real. Thankfully, some artists made it possible to film on the stage and to „take over“ for the duration of one track. It’s a pretty cool feeling to see now, that the pictures work, If you know, how stressful that was.
Did you party while working on the film?
Yes, definitely. But that was also a point at issue. It would have been easier and less stressful to separate work and party. But in the end, it was the charm of the whole project not to do that. (laughs).
What do you think is the most important message of the film?
Eat more mushrooms! (laughs). Maybe rather: Everything falls into place.
If you want to know what Dave prefers as a DJ in his real life than you should visit his Soundcloud page.
Eva Kessler (Vera)
Are there any similarities between you and the character Vera?
Vera’s secure life, her planned life cycle with strict social values gets turned upside down. The experiences didn’t make me change my life, because living the artist life of an actress, you are already in a the position of an outsider. But I went with this figure on Goa festivals for the first time.
What did you like about the festivals?
The cultural mix is inspiring. My family rather stayed in holiday homes than going camping. So I loved the experience to sleep open air for three months, to dance in the sunlight at 11am instead of dancing in stuffy clubs at night. I liked to live a different course of the day – not the one usually offered by society.