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Films on Arne Naess

The Call of the Mountain:
Arne Naess and the Deep Ecology Movement

Directed by Jan van Boeckel
Produced by Karin van der Molen/Pat van Boeckel
ReRun Productions, The Netherlands

Synopsis: On 1500 meters above sea level, on the slope of the mountain Hallingskarvet, stands “Tvergastein’, the cabin of Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess. In his life he has spent nearly 12 years in this hut, where he wrote several books and essays on philosophy and ecology. In this film, Naess tells about the concept of ‘deep ecology’, which was first introduced by him in 1973. One of the basic tenets of deep ecology is that nature has a value in itself, apart from its possible use value to humans. Next to being a famous mountaineer, Naess has been a longtime activist in the environmental movement.

He gives an inspiring account of his participation in blockades to prevent the Alta river in northern Norway (the area of the Sami, an indigenous people) from being dammed.

With contributions by Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Bill Devall, George Sessions and Harold Glasser.

Crossing the Stones: A Portrait of Arne Naess

Directed by Jan Horne
Produced by Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation

From a childhood during the First World War through the study of psychoanalysis in Freud’s Vienna, through the mid-century hardening of ideologies to the most recent decades with the emergence of ecology as a political force, his exuberant life in the throes of nature has always been characterized by a drive to embrace precise and clear thinking in the face of the great contemporary dilemmas.

Deeply touched by the thought of Spinoza and Gandhi, he coined the term “deep ecology” to express a vision of the world in which we protect the environment as a part of ourselves, never in opposition to humanity. Deep sensitivity to nature is the articulation of something that every child understands. And for Naess, knowledge of the deepest kind should bind humanity to nature, and not push us further away from the tactile object of its study.

Available through Bullfrog Films

Loop, 2007, feature length cinema documentary with among others, Arne Naess. About people’s relationship to time, and what happens when people choose to jump out of the loop of time. Some people seek excitement and adventure, others are looking for peace and quiet, there are two sides of the same coin. Everything is about finding his balance, and how to make choices about how you will use the time you have. This film provides an insight into the lives of people who step out of the traditional, modern life and find meaning in ways that are unimaginable to most people. Arne Naess, (92) philosopher, professor and mountaineer, at age 92, refelcts on what he could have done differently in his life. Which choices did he never make? We find a man who opens up his innermost thoughts, a side of Naess we have never seen before.

Arne Naess, interviewed in 1964 about the forthcoming Tirich Mir Expedition in the Himalayas (in Norwegian), in 1964. He shows the interviewer his special mountain climbing gear. The interview is interspersed with footage from other mountain climbing expeditions at the time.