The film “Kein richtig falsches Leben” (“No Completely Wrong Life”) by Michael Würfel shows with humour and up close what life in community can look like – and is thus the only current feature documentary movie of its kind. It is available for streaming, as DVD or BluRay-disk with English subtitles (see below).
The ecovillage Sieben Linden in Northern Germany, founded 1997, is present on television and in the print media and is admired for its small ecological footprint which is only a third as large as the German average (link to source). However, the challenges of such a sustainable life in community are not subject in such short reports and articles. What exactly is great and what is strenuous about such a life is shown in “Kein richtig falsches Leben”.
While the structures, everyday life and functioning of such a micro-society are conveyed rather incidentally, the film, in keeping with the title, repeatedly refers to the question: “If people design their world in the way they like it, are they at least satisfied with it?” – with various answers. Obviously, most people have not moved into community projects in the last decades; living in community is still a niche concept. Although the small ecological footprint is sensational: What other idea to counter climate change can present such practical prototypes that are really attractive? A life among nice people, healthy living, safe environment, meaningful employment.
Perhaps community living is not yet ready for the mass market. Some people find it “exhausting” to suddenly hold all the strings in their own hands. And grassroots democracy can also produce decisions that make the actions of government offices look clever and effective. But the aspirations are high: In the Sieben Linden ecovillage, for example, residents do some of the work that is otherwise done by the municipal administration and financed by taxes. Plus earning one’s living, plus tending to many possible close relationships and family, plus building the village including new houses to live in. It’s a lot.
On the other hand, a beautiful village is being created in Sieben Linden, and the community that can be felt there radiates unbroken attractiveness. Life is full of meaning and happy moments, a steady influx of interested people promises to make the community ever more fascinating. No really wrong life in Sieben Linden: While sustainability, good living and personal freedom have to be permanently balanced, the film gives us an inkling of what such a life in community actually means.