Boris Pahor

Branko Barič

Terra

Tina & Vasko

Synopsis

Mama Europa takes a look at Europe through the eyes of a six-year-old child, Terra. Born in the Balkans, but raised as a citizen of the world by her Cuban-Macedonian father and Slovenian mother, little Terra quickly learned about borders. She goes on a journey through former Yugoslavia with her family, encountering numerous remarkable characters with interesting stories, and tells us her innocent but intelligent, and already experienced view of the continent that is not at all as united as it would apparently like to be. Look at Europe through the eyes of a small child from the Balkans: she may easily shatter your preconceptions about where you.

Characters

TERRA is 5 years old:  “Mother Europe, but more important is the Earth”, says Terra.

Terra is a curious girl, who is discovering the Europe we live in. Her genuine reactions to conversations with her mother challenge her mother – the director – to take her on another trip. The film uncovers delicate issues of “Mother Europe” that the two are discussing during the travel. Starting from home, talking about Terra’s nationality – understanding the meaning of borders, the politics, the use of history, the absurdity of bureaucracy, the mistakes of education – they take us on the road to Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and back. Terra and her mother meet incredible people with their childhood stories, but with the five-year-old’s incredible imagination she makes her own story of what she picked up on the way. “Mom and Dad took me to places, that’s how I became so smart. I have had a marvellous time in every country” says Terra. Her thoughts are spontaneous reactions and impressions of what she experiences on the nomadic travel with her parents since she was one month old.


BORIS PAHOR  - the oldest person who Terra met, he is 98 years old (this year his turning 100)

The author’s lucid narration, combined with archive materials and Terra’s animated drawings, takes us on a journey back in time to Trieste in 1918, where all the issues about our border had started. Back then, Boris Pahor as a little kid had realized that the border changed his life. In his early age he had been forbidden by the fascist government to use his mother tongue in public. Overnight, many things changed for non-Italians in Trieste, which once used to be the biggest multicultural trade city in central Europe. Now, he is a Slovenian writer who this year is turning 100. His detailed flashbacks of childhood memories, combined with some archive materials, bring us back to the beginning of fascism in Trieste. Looking at little Terra, his reflections passes on to the new generations. He suggests that it is time for this generation to make a real revolution – to change the laws – because changes are needed.

Terra’s thoughts are far away from the 100 years old man, but she is fascinated by his age.


BRANKO BARIČ is 64 years old

In a village hidden far away from city, life lives Branko Barič a humorous nature lover, who dreamed as a child of becoming Tarzan. Born in a country that does not exist, he tells us an incredible but funny story. His life shaped him into nature believer, who has much better relationship with his dog Max and his chicken Cvetka, than with other homo sapiens – but he likes Terra and she likes him. Branko believes there are only two nationalities: Good human beings and “cunts”. “How great this world would be without human beings on Earth.” says Barič.

On the three-border on the Adriatic Sea, between Slovenia, Italy and Croatia, Terra explains to a fisherman in Savudria that we all have a common mother – mother sea. Conflicts are not needed because the sea belongs to all humans. It is the same with the Earth. The Earth belongs to everybody.


BERNAYS PROPAGANDA is Terra’s favourite band. TINA AND VASKO are 29 and 34 years old

 

Terra seems very disappointed when she meets her great friends Vasko and Tina, from the Anarchic punk band Bernays Propaganda. She finds out that they are going through incredible bureaucratic procedures to obtain visas for their tour and a passport for their dog Chuckey. Terra helps sending the letter to the bureaucratic headquarters in Brussels.

All through the film Terra is drawing, because she can express herself better while she is illustrating her point of view. After making a map from her home to her grandmother’s place, she decides to illustrate her travel through all the European countries she had visited. Finally she draws a map of Europe, finding out that it is more complicated than drawing the whole planet Earth.