Soon after my graduation from film school I got deeply interested in the home region of my grandmother. She lived in a small house on the sunlit hill top in the Mediterranean Slovenia. Even if life was economically challenging for many generations, the world has always felt hopeful and colourful from there.
It was perhaps my desire to better understand the nature of that joy that sparked my curiosity about the cultivation of fruits. On a more pragmatic level, it was also a key to many doors which otherwise I wouldn’t be able to enter. Asking people about their fruit trees, or about the childhood memories of fruits made my exchanges with old farmers more personal and specific. For the next ten years, I have kept a diary of a field research on old fruit trees in the Italo-Slovenian border regions and by the end of that period, I understood that fruits were not only a reliable source of people’s livelihood but also held a deep symbolic meaning. They represented a safe anchor to their inner worlds – worlds of hope and beauty. Through myths, fantasy and dreams, fruits got imprinted in the collective memory of the region.
Recently, I also started to better understand the connection between my involvement in film and my interest in fruits: far more than any other food, fruits inspire the imagination. Once ripe, fruit is colourful and desirable: it has a pleasant fragrance and a sweet taste. To the one who cultivates it, fruit also conveys the passage of time, encouraging a sense of moderation and patience. A tree flowers in spring, its ripe fruit falls in summer, carrying the seed of a new plant that will rest and overwinter for a year or two, then start the cycle all over again. This keeps the farmer in a state of patient expectation, which in turn activates the desire for storytelling.