The term bobo (bourgeois bohemian) is often used in Austria to refer to the left-green Bionade bourgeoisie. Florian Klenk is also insulted as “Bobo” by farmer Christian Bachler on the Internet. The editor-in-chief of Falter magazine had defended a court decision against a farmer whose cow had attacked a tourist. This is how Kurt Langbein’s touching documentary “The Farmer and Bobo” begins.
The farmer in the film is the witty Christian Bachler, as a “fury farmer” he already has legendary status in social media. In his video, he also accuses the “newspaper writer” of having no idea of agricultural reality. And invites him to do an internship with him at the Tocklerhof for a week. And Klenk actually accepts, drives to Styria. The farmer leads the bobo over the farm, which is 1450 meters above sea level, and its pastures. He keeps 15 animal breeds, including mountain pigs, an old, almost extinct breed, and yaks, which thrive very well at this altitude.
Lesson on the conditions of production in agriculture
Klenk asks curious questions and at the same time (like the viewers) gets a lesson about the difficult production conditions and the social reality of today’s farmers. Things are not looking good for smallholder agriculture, says Bachler, who is struggling with a lot: climate change causing drought and landslides, global trade and the agricultural industry that are driving down prices, absurd EU regulations and consumers who would rather ” buy cheap junk” than to pay more for good quality.
In addition, the rural exodus is making the traditional village infrastructure obsolete, even larger villages no longer even have a grocery store or an inn where people could meet.
The sympathy between Bachler and Klenk is palpable, the tone becomes more and more cordial, the two continue to tease each other, and this is how friendships begin. On a return visit to the “Bobos” in the Viennese Falter editorial office, the farmer sees how the everyday life of consumers is influenced by the food industry and that many of the “city dwellers” definitely want a change.
This is how a movie could end. But months later, Florian Klenk found out from the Internet that the situation was much more serious: Even the enterprising Christian Bachler, who bucked the trend with sustainable agriculture, old breeds and his own online marketing, went bankrupt because of old bank debts. The journalist Klenk is now becoming active himself and is organizing crowdfunding for the farmer in order to save his life’s work, the farm. The public reaction is incredible. Filmmaker Kurt Langbein is a good observer, the gradual rapprochement of the initially very different protagonists becomes an impressive plea for listening, learning and talking to each other.
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