The pre-premiere of the film “Ibiza Occident” was held towards the end of the Ibiza 2011 summer season at Space, and was still on everyone’s lips for days. Not only the “who’s who” of the international music scene came to not miss the show, also you saw a lot of familiar island faces there. Probably because of the film, but also to experience Space as a cinema-location, most had come.
Impressive about the documentary of the Austrian director Guenter Schwaiger is certainly that many typical island characters are speaking in this film: DJ Alfredo, Mike and Claire from Manumission, Cristian Varela, Carl Cox, Rico Loop, Arian Beheshti from Open Mind Music, the saxophone player Lovely Laura, Pacha boss Ricardo Urgell, Manel Aragonés, Ana Tur from Ibiza Global Radio, Alvaro Sanchez Cocero and Toni Gustinell. The official premiere of “Ibiza Occident” was at the World Film Festival in Montreal.
Ibiza, the “Hollywood of electronic music,” is working with musicians, DJs, promoters, managers and gogos in a refined leisure machinery to serve the desires of fun, sex and freedom, and with all this to meet a stressed western society. Each of the “nine and a half stories of music” in the documentary represents a certain aspect of the whole of society, but without claim of completeness.
The film develops a journey with stops, almost like a small collection of short stories. The main character is Ibiza, and its inspiration is the music. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describes the work as “multi-layered, beautiful and mysterious.” But how did the idea develop to produce such a film about Ibiza?
Günter Schwaiger: “The idea for this film came from my interest in worlds of which we have mostly only preconceived, stereotypical notions. And for many, Ibiza is no more than a place of pleasure, frivolity, and drugs. An island dedicated to leisure business. But only few people know that this small Mediterranean island is the world’s capital of electronic music and one of the sites with the densest musical creativity in Europe.”
Even in the early history of Ibiza, it was customary to create special places for rituals and festivals. At that time these were idyllic places that enhance the feelings of ecstasy and euphoria. Even before many centuries Ibiza was in the whole Mediterranean area, even up to Egypt, known as a “holiday” spot among people who studied their spirituality (connection maybe with the gods of dance), regeneration (chilling) or fertilization (sex) .
Schwaiger: “In an era of political correctness the clubbing phenomena of young people is under suspicion, and is often reduced only to its most extreme expression.”
Cultural fascism? This film shows how since the 90-ies the social phenomena of this youth subculture has taken millions in motion, and how Ibiza has become one of their emblematic centers. “A place to fabricate stars and swallow them again,” says the filmmaker.
In Ibiza, in all history, partying was never suspicious or negatively charged, but simply a part of the island’s identity. Unfortunately, Ibiza has changed in the last 10 years into a complex machinery of money, and therefore also one of the protagonists in the film says: “A mirror of what is happening in the world.”
Ibiza has nevertheless retained a certain authenticity and turned into a paradoxical mix of clubbers and Jet Set. It satisfies the needs of a society that looks at partying as something they can not find in everyday life: Using the ecstatic feeling of euphoria, to bear the brutality of the world. Schwaiger: “We live in a time when the next generation is convinced that the economic and social models can not bring prosperity and security. Many feel trapped in a life full of stress and competition. To escape this pressure, they try on the weekend and on holidays to escape into experiences which require no more than the naked desire for pleasure.”
Ibiza fans will have to wait until January 2012 until the new film by Schwaiger will be in the cinemas.