As Juraj prepares for his walk of 8 Million Steps, he reflects on his past, his goals and why he has decided to walk from the South of Spain to Istanbul.
EPISODE 1 : THE FIRST STEPS
We are in La Linea De La Concepcion at the southern tip of Spain to have a farewell fiesta for Juraj.
The fiesta is full of duende, our talented friends share their Flamenco spirit with us into the early hours of the morning. Two days later, Juraj sets off for his 8000 km walk starting at the rock of Gibraltar.
EPISODE 2 : THE VILLAGE THAT CAN'T BE NAMED
An entire village and centuries of rural tradition are in danger of extinction. Why? In whose interest?
The heavy hand of the authorities is threatening people’s very existence with absurd laws and regulations written by anonymous bureaucrats in Brussels and enforced by clueless local officials.
These villagers, whose only crime is to grow and share their own food, are living in fear, unable to defend themselves against the senseless attack on their way of life. They can’t sell their produce, so they’re all forced to buy their food in a supermarket.
What will become of them? And of their ancient values and wisdom? It’s all disappearing faster than I thought possible, and I can only hope that those who are behind this injustice will wake up to what they’re doing before it’s too late.
To help the community with Eco Tourism visit:
EPISODE 3 : SLOWLY,WITH LOVE - PART 1: THE CHEESE MAKER
Slow Food has an enormous network of food producers and restaurateurs who believe in traditional ways of growing and serving food: in harmony with the environment, organically, and with lots of love and care.
Our next three short films will feature some of these inspiring individuals, starting with María Orzáez, an exceptional cheese maker.María says she didn’t find cheese, it found her. Ten years ago she decided to leave her comfortable position with a chemical company, pack her bags and two children, and search for a more meaningful life. She stumbled across Benito, an old goatherd in a small village called Castilblanco de los Arroyos, drunk his milk, had a revelation, went to study traditional cheese-making in France, came back to Castilblanco and set up Mare Nostrum (Roman name for the Mediterranean).
Today her cheeses are highly sought-after by foodies and fine restaurants alike but success didn’t change María’s ways: she still produces only a small quantity, still only from the milk Benito brings every morning, only with her own hands.
A SOLITARY WALK FROM SOUTHERN SPAIN TO TURKEY, EXPLORING
MEDITERRANEAN VALUES AND TRADITIONS THAT ARE IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION.
EPISODE 4 : SLOWLY,WITH LOVE - PART 2: GUARDIANS OF THE LAND
Finca Montefrío is a pig farm nestled in the mountains of Aracena, home to the world’s best jamón. Armando and Lola, our generous hosts, don’t breed just any old pigs – theirs is a pure race, ancient Iberian pig, and they see themselves as custodians of this pristine environment for the generations to come.
Their farm extends over a sizeable tract of land covered with different kinds of oak trees. Called “la dehesa”, this centuries old ecosystem serves an important purpose of providing oxygen to Europe. It comes as no surprise that la dehesa is disappearing too, like so many good things in the Mediterranean. It’s the same old story – mass production, lack of vision, greed…
Armando and Lola work incredibly hard – their life is a self-imposed sacrifice in a way, but they wouldn’t change it for anything. They taught us a number of lessons in a short time: about the importance of accepting what is given to us rather than always wanting and expecting more, about caring for the environment, about living a noble life of giving more than you take… We’ll never forget Armando and Lola.
Visit the webpage of Lola and Armando's farm: Finca Montefrio
EPISODE 5 : SLOWLY,WITH LOVE - PART 3: THE GENTLE ECOWARRIOR
Vistalegre is a Slow Food km0 restaurant in Cazalla de la Sierra. It’s run by Enrica Basilico who hails from the southernmost tip of Italy, but is now totally identified with the land and the people of this unspoilt part of Andalusia.
She is a quiet but effective campaigner for small food producers who find it more and more difficult to maintain their traditional methods in the face of aggressive government intervention. "They are forcing us underground," she says emphatically, "but I’m not afraid, we’ll be illegal if we have to be, let them come for me!"
Enrica takes us to meet Carmelo, an 87-year-old farmer who supplies her vegetables and seeds. He truly is the last of his kind - still tilling the soil with two mules and an ancient plough. He’s been doing the same thing on the same plot of land for 75 years, and when he goes his way of life will go with him.
Enrica engages the community in her battle to save the traditional ways of food production in many different ways: she buys directly from local growers (outrageous!), she organises weekend markets on her property (it would be illegal in a public space) and she teaches children how to grow and cook natural food.
EPISODE 6: THE ARTISANS
A film that captures the unwavering dedication of artisans that span generations of tradition. Enter a visually breathtaking world of hand made guitars, exquisitely crafted ceramics and centuries-old textile looms.
The true artisan is driven by passion, you could even say obsession. It's certainly not money. These are trying times for artisans – it's impossible to compete with mass produced goods that flood the marketplace. In the last few years, majority of artisan workshops in Spain have been forced to close down and only a handful remain, determined to continue age-old traditions.
Sit back and enjoy Maia's lyrical camera work and Basil's emotive score as we visit three extraordinary workshops that refuse to compromise their art.
EPISODE 7: THE COMMUNITY
In the foothills of the Sierra Morena, north of Sevilla, lives a community called Los Portales, one of the first eco villages in Spain. They were founded by a group from Belgium over 30 years ago, looking for personal growth and a new way of living.
A self sustainable community with their own renewable energy, ecological agriculture, goats, wheat, bread and even school, they believe in deeper human connections and greater respect for nature. We had the pleasure of speaking with some of the warmest and most positive people we have ever met. Los Portales is a small paradise that we were fortunate enough to visit and tell their extraordinary story.
EPISODE 9: THE MEANING OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
We asked one simple question to over 40 people along our journey walking through Spain. What does the Mediterranean mean to you? We were surprised by the emotional impact of the answers.
EPISODE 8: TO WALK, TO FEEL, TO SEE
'To walk slowly means having nothing in your pockets except your hands', said an Italian poet. At Juraj's 1000km make, we cut two different kinds of films celebrating the act of walking: this is the first version, the Directors Cut, shot entirely by Maia, titled “To walk, to feel, to see”. It explores what it feels like to slow down and become at one with your surrounds. You can see Juraj's film on the 'Fragments' page.
EPISODE 10: MOTHER, EARTH & LOVE
It’s October and we are in Torino: Slow Food has put on the greatest gastronomical show on earth, Il Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre. It’s marvellous to see such incredible variety of regional, authentic and unique food from all around the world, and the infectious enthusiasm of the people who travelled all the way to Italy, proud to represent their culture and their home-grown products.
I focused on the Terra Madre part of the event and I decided to speak only to women. Mothers. Perhaps not surprisingly, we invariably ended up talking about love.