In the beginning, there is darkness. A starry sky over the Carpathians—and underneath it, much lower, a vast mycelium. The first two shots that open Olanda take us into the geometry of changing perspectives of this everyday and extraordinary story about mushrooms. At the micro level, we look at the details of fungal organisms; at the macro level, constellations of mutual relationships. Between the sky and the forest undergrowth are mushroom pickers, seasonal gatherers traversing mountains with baskets on their backs, sleeping in tents, scouring the forest thicket day after day. Families trading at impromptu roadside markets. People who depend on a balanced ecosystem. Schoch’s film has numerous layers and the looped structure of a network of mushrooms—it goes in circles. It is a record of the rhythm of everyday life in the forest, a meta-analysis of the relationship between local economies and global consumption, the experience of nature in audiovisual form, a mushroom trip through the magical Carpathian forest, a synthesis of mycological mythology. They dream and grow. Animals and plants belong to the world of mystery as much as they do to the world of science. A species of a third kind, ruling over a distinct kingdom. In comity with trees, they send out secret messages. They are at the same time a drug, a poison, a medicine and a food.
Born in Ettlingen in 1971, studied Media Art at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. He lives and works as a freelance filmmaker in Hamburg.
2005 Slide Guitar Ride (doc.)
2006 Onset I Offset (doc.)
2011 Aber das Wort Hund bellt ja nicht (doc.)
2014 Kurze Ecke (doc.)
2019 Olanda (doc.)