WHY WE FIGHT? is a cinematographic film that tries to understand the violence around us, but also in ourselves, in order to better cope with today's world.
Violence is mental and physical. And who better than a dancer to reflect on how head and body work together? The film shows how violence as a physical reaction occurs when we are short of words to express our dissatisfaction.
Bérengère, Samir and Russell, three dancers from Platel's performance Nicht Schlafen, danced a violent piece for two years and realised that violence is in each of us. Bérengère takes this idea into her new motherhood. Samir, who grew up amidst a polarised Arab community in France, realises that we cannot always blame 'the others'. Russell saw death in the eye during political protests in Congo but experiences racism today as equally violent. Bérengère, Samir and Russell weigh up their ideas and questions, and the film occasionally calls on people from other disciplines for help. Historian Philipp Blom explains how rapid changes in society (in terms of gender, politics, science, socio-economics, etc.) lead to fear. Koert Debeuf, Middle East specialist, suggests that violence invariably arises when we want to defend our values and those we consider family. Yet the clash between cultures invariably leads to progress. And precisely the acceptance of opposing views is the essence of democracy, claims Tinneke Beeckman.
How to live together? How to react to everything that happens around us? The composer Mahler transformed the unrest he experienced in the period just before WWI into music. Samir turns his inner anger into a positive struggle, it gives him the strength to become president. Artist Berlinde De Bruyckere tries to elicit a tender gesture from the audience with her violent art. We react to violence in the world and in ourselves, but can we do so in a non-violent way, when words fail us? Or is this only possible for those who create music, dance and art?
Through different layers of images and visual metaphors, Why We Fight analyses social change, the lack of emotional processing and the power of man - man who always balances between creating something spectacularly beautiful and something terribly cruel.