The Country where Trees Fly
A film by Jacopo Quadri and Davide Barletti
In a quiet Danish province, preparations are underway for the 50th birthday celebrations of the Odin Teatret, the company which under the guidance of Eugenio Barba changed the direction of theatre in the second half of the twentieth century, enriching its alphabet by feeding on the theatrical cultures of the world. From the most far-reaching latitudes of the planet – Kenya, Bali, Brazil, India, and Europe, too – teams of children, youths and artists come to Holstebro bringing energy to this collective event with their acrobatics, music and voice, all under the impetuous gaze of the barefoot, white-haired director.
The Odin Teatret is not just a theatre company; it is an extensive and timeless community, a visionary flow and uncompromising pace of life; it is a tangle of wild humanity whose constancy, intuitions, paradoxes and horizons are tenderly examined in this film. For half a century, actors who are also bricklayers-dressmakers-organisers, the auditor who is a postman-academic, a farm loaned to the theatre and the director-welder-woodsman, have all given rise to this partnership of political vision and universal value of art. The preparations for this celebration – which engages tribal rhythms and western classics in the entertaining search for a common language – invokes the prospect of mixing together the earth and the sky with a regenerative fire and flying trees.