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An Anglo-Finnish Family's Year without Oil

John Webster's documentary film Recipes for Disaster, which airs on YLE TV2 on Easter, depicts the efforts of a Finnish-British family to avoid using oil for a year.

Webster arvelee elokuvan lopulla, että ekohommat saattoivat vähän lähteä käsistä
Websterin perhe ei Webster arvelee elokuvan lopulla, että ekohommat saattoivat vähän lähteä käsistä henkilöautolla Image: Petri Kaipiainen / Kuvaryhmä/SKOY

The witty, thought-provoking film portrays Webster's awakening concern over global warming and his decision to put his family on a carbon diet. Not surprisingly, his wife Anu and two young sons are not so enthusiastic about his plans for them to get rid of their car and stop buying anything made of -- or packed in -- plastic. Life in the suburbs of Espoo without petroleum products is no picnic, they find.

The resulting tale veers from comedy to sermon, from reality TV to deadly-serious documentation of the causes and results of climate change. Along the way, there also revealing peeks into multi-cultural family life in Finland.

Webster is the 41-year-old son of two British academics who settled in Finland. He and his sister attended Swedish-language Steiner schools. Reflecting his background, the film is mostly in English with dialogue in Finnish and a bit of Swedish.

Completed in late 2007 and premiered last August, the film was a co-production by three small film companies in Finland and Denmark, with backing from YLE, Channel 4, CANAL+ and public broadcasters in Denmark, Norway, Canada and Israel. They all have broadcast it, or plan to do so. CANAL+ is also to air it in Francophone Africa.

YLE TV2 broadcasts the 85-minute Recipes for Disaster on Sunday, April 12 at 5.50 pm.

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