Film METAMORPHOSES OF THE TATRA MOUNTAINS


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“Man is only a minor creature, who can only stand in amazement and watch what nature is able to do. Often, he only discovers after a long time how wise and prospective nature is...” “Everyone says that the Tatra Mountains will never be the same as they used to be. The mountains, however, live their own life. They won’t conform to our concepts. The film “Metamorphoses of the Tatra Mountains” is designed to illustrate my view of the changes happening in the Tatra Mountains. I’ve tried to show my submission and respect to nature from which we all emerged. If we understand it, we’ll also be able to understand the changes that occur on the Earth. Of course, only if we are interested in doing so...” Palo Barabáš

SYNOPSIS

The film - Metamorphoses of the Tatra Mountains - talks about man's respect for nature and its ability to renew itself in its entire complexity and beauty. It also talks about what we all have hidden in our subconscious; that all of us on this planet form an integral unit, which underlies certain precise natural regularities. And we often recognise them only after a great length of time.

Director: Pavol Barabáš
Photography: Stano Gužák, Pavol Barabáš
Music: Michal Novinski, Archive
Year of production: 2006
Length: 13 min
Format: 4:3
Sound: 2.0

FILM FESTIVAL PRIZES:

GRAND PRIX - PUBLIC PRIZE - potkania z Filmem Górskim, Zakopane, Poland, 2006
SLOVAK LITERARY FUND PRIZE - Mountains and City, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 2006
THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR PRIZE FOR THE BEST SLOVAK FILM - Envirofilm, Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic, 2006
RADIO REGINA PRIZE - Envirofilm, Banská Bystrica, Slovak Republic, 2006
PRIZE OF TEPLICE NAD METUJÍ - MHFF, Teplice nad Metují, Czech Republic, 2006
Special prize of the Jury, Academia film Olomou, Czech Republic, 2006
Festival President's Prize - Agrofilm, Nitra, Slovak Republic, 2006
Best Director of the Tatra National Park award for the magnificent presentation of the natural environment, Spotkania z Filmem Górskim, Zakopane, Poland, 2006
2. PRIZE in category "Mountain films" International festival of outdoor films, Prague, Czech Republic, 2006
Judge Special Award, International Mountain Film Festival, Bansko, Bulgaria, 2007
THE BEST ECOLOGICAL FILM - EKO-ETNO-FOLK, Slatioara, Romania, 2008

REFLECTIONS

We were all invited to visit this fascinating planet. As well-behaved visitors, we should behave and act fairly to our hostess, and not leave disorder and mess behind. Because of our materialism, we don't even perceive this fine world, which is full of miracles. We become ignorant. Stealing, destroying, devastating... I can’t imagine that any of us would allow such people into our living rooms. We change nature, ignore its regularities and then we’re more surprised when our hostess loses her patience. So far, nature has only warned us. So far, these changes are still reversible... So far!


CLIMATE CHANGES IN THE TATRAS

Tatras - a word that evokes home, family, friends...security for people living in Slovakia. If you stay abroad for a longer time, the brown color of the Tatras in the centre of Europe becomes a clue symbolizing the return home and you will subconsciously say: “There are my roots, there are my relatives, and there is my home. I would return there anytime. And all of us - though everyone in a different way - are proud of our smallest high mountains of the world...“

Emergency calls in the night revealed the drama. The emergency service picks up the phones and takes notes. The windstorm is destroying the trees. The biggest catastrophe of the Tatras has just begun. The mosaic of the terrible night is being created.
The High Tatras - the unique land with values that cannot be expressed in numbers - has been completely changed by a windstorm on November 19, 2004. Expressed in numbers - the windstorm destroyed 40-50 kilometers long and three kilometers wide zone of lands. Animals, tourism, health resorts - there is much of it, and questions arose: what can we do now? The Tatras are a symbol of Slovakia; tourists from all around the world know them.

Climate changes and other civilization factors threaten woods created by men. The most vulnerable woods in Slovakia are homogenous pine copses. The catastrophe in the Tatras is a proof for it. Extreme weather changes destroyed Slovak woods in the past as well; just think of the wind calamites in 1915, 1936 and 1964. But in the last decade there were more catastrophes than before.
The damages caused by the catastrophe in November pulled many spectators. The day “AFTER” you would not find a newspaper or TV not informing about this topic, so the people all around Slovakia could watch live from the safeties of their sofa a drama they never witnessed before.

Continuation
Pictures of the outcomes of the whirlwind called out different reactions: shocks and later the need to help. Many voluntary charities. A fire in 2005 followed and everyone knew, the shape of the Tatras will dramatically change.
There were two groups of people with different opinion how to solve the problem. The first group was mainly concerned about was the economics (wood processing, hotel construction and ski tows). The second group, the environmentalists are called “idealist”, because they are not in touch with reality.

Visions of reality
Simply - the havoc in the Tatras did not sound off yet and already a new battle unleashed over the Slovak mountains - about their new shape. The businessmen started to draw new ski slopes, traces, guesthouses and tourist attractions on the map. Environmentalists would like the things stay unchanged and the planes could be planted with trees. Are the Tatras a unique world, isolated reservation no one should enter expect of some the “chosen” people, or should we treat the Tatras as only a real estate? Are we becoming shortsighted? How would we like to see our Tatras in 50 years? How will we see them? And how do we see them in the symbolic horizon of our private worlds?


THE TATRAS NEEDED FRESH AIR

Pavol Barabas talks about the latest events in the Tatras

How do you perceive the havoc left by the windstorm?
I visited most of the mountains in the world, but the Tatras are the most beautiful mountains on Earth. Many beauty spots concentrate on an a little ground. I also like the people living in the Tatras so much. The more one understands nature, the more is one fascinated by it. He understands the rules and knows that everything functions well-thought-out: From the aerospace to the wheat grain. I don’t think this windstorm was just an accident or a coincidence.

Would you call it an ecological accident?
Many similar whirlwinds and catastrophes happened all around the world. We have only our little Tatras and it just happened here - we are oversensitive about such things, But we have to take it for granted. We often arrogantly intervene in nature and are surprised when the nature intervenes in our lives. If the nature says, it does not want this woods - we can only agree with it.

Would you say the nature is submitting itself to rules that are not always acceptable for men?
We are only short-time visitors on Earth and we can only wonder on what kind of world we live. We should be more humble to the Nature. Especially after events like these.

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