What would the world look like without bigotry, without religion, without violating politics and moralisation?


Flint Juventino Beppe's artistic expression is a constant advocacy of the individual's free will and personal autonomy — without irrelevant intrusion of the private sphere.

Having no political preferences, all his arts is permeated by a sense of individual freedom. Just like the freedom and respect Nature upholds.

Hence, Beppe is constantly dreaming of a world without religion and state suppression.

In this film, the focus is on bigotry; how bigotry clad as religion, isms and political systems may develop into manipulation, and even lead to wars. Bigotry can take many shapes, not only on a big scale, but also in everyday situations. You will find it within families and close-knit communities.

The Holy Bigotry is a music film narrative by composer Flint Juventino Beppe.


  Film transcript | Speech of Nature | «Warning Zero» Op.54



The Holy Bigotry

The Holy Bigotry

(Trailer | Video on Demand)





A talk with composer Flint Juventino Beppe in connection with the music film The Holy Bigotry.


By Oddbjørn Fiskefjell



In the deepest woods, Flint Juventino Beppe
finds an arena that never lets him down.


1. How would you explain the title of the film The Holy Bigotry?

— Well, it can be seen as a pun referring to "The Holy Bible", since the Bible is full of bigotry. In this film, the focus is on bigotry; how bigotry clad as religion and politics may develop into manipulation, and even lead to wars. Bigotry can take many shapes, not only on a big scale, but also in everyday situations. You will find it within families and close-knit communities. Religion can split the strongest of relationships. In its most undiluted form, religion will become fanaticism — and this is where it becomes so dangerous. When fanaticism arises within people, the zealots are convinced that their deity communicates directly with and through them. This happens because they actually believe it happens. The kind of euphoria these people experience may make a deep impression and thereby gain a strong foothold.

However, this elation is most likely only a part of man's own imagination, and what comes trailing behind when this euphoria is revealed as human-made authorship, might be substituted by the opposite; a feeling of humiliation and complete submission. Nevertheless, human beings seems to endure this earthly middle-stage euphoria as long as there is a promise of salvation in the end.

The process of making The Holy Bigotry has been extremely painful. Nevertheless, I feel this film had to be made. My intention with this film is not to prove religion wrong, because that may also be considered bigotry. Instead, I take a look back in history to show some of the dire consequences of religion and bigoted politics.


2. The film opens with a warning about the content. Is it necessary to use graphic images to make a point?

— It is not often that I use graphic images to this extent. This short film, I would say, is just as much a documentary as it is an art film. The photos and paintings are a way to document how innocence suffers when brutal politics or religion strikes: how people without much resistance get struck by the very powerful hand of the holy scripts, or the ideas of political fanatics. So in this case, it felt very natural to use graphic images, especially in relation to the very merciless music, which accompanies this narrative.
    
3. Can you explain the title of the music «Warning Zero»?

— Without revealing too much, the "Zero" in the title might be seen as something digital. In the digital world one operates with the two values 1 or 0. All or Nothing. The "Warning" in this film might be referring to how fanaticism has dire consequences — signified by "0" (nothing) – for people, given the right (or wrong) circumstances. The composition «Warning Zero» Op.54 is as much a part of this anti-bigotry manifesto as the images are; it is the actual foundation of the film.


4. Why do you think religion becomes such a substantial part of people's lives?

— As the author Henrik Ibsen says in «The Wild Duck»: «Rob the average man of his life-illusion, and you rob him of his happiness at the same stroke.»

Tradition and culture, combined with low self-esteem, fear and mass suggestion, are keystones in what constitutes the foundation for any religious movement, I believe. When a young person grows up in a family where parents, or grown-up role models, bring religion into this person's life, this may alter his or her perception of life and living. Furthermore, it may be dramatic for such a young person to renounce the family's religion, since this indirectly also involves breaking up with the family. The whole process of losing one's religion can be demeaning and painful, and in certain parts of the world might even be life-threatening. I think many people actually choose to keep their childhood faith "up and running" to avoid a painful confrontation with what their gut instinct tells them. This again might lead people to play safe and be selective in what to believe because this is convenient for their lifestyle. For many, it is also safe to believe in an afterlife. Religious people choose to look away from the ugly realities of their religion. And such a disclaimer of liability, standing with one foot here and one foot there, is something I cannot respect. To settle with a religion is extremely selfish since one automatically supports bigotry written in "holy scripts" and thereby abandons critical thinking. Innocent people suffer because of this.
— You do not need to say "I believe"
or "I know". You can say "I do not
believe" or "I do not know" –
and settle with it.

I think religion becomes such a big part of people's lives because they develop a fear of not knowing, and of not daring to leave questions open and unanswered, without leaning towards an abstract concept of a god.

The idea of a possible afterlife is also a captivating one, simply because it is so scary not to know what will happen after you pass away. My suggestion is to wait and see; what else can we do? Did we ask to be born? If not, we can't be held responsible for having to die. What we cannot technically know about any afterlife, we cannot know. Why not just settle for this uncertainty? Because of the horrible consequences with any religious belief; it should ideally be totally avoided. You do not need to say "I believe"or "I know". You can say "I do not believe" or "I do not know" — and settle with it. Claiming with certainty that there is an afterlife is a huge attack on people's integrity and innocence, but claiming that there is nothing is also an attack, since no human can know for sure. It is probably best to settle for a 50-50 chance you will have the answer to any philosophical question. Not more. Not less. For me to cope with life, any existential question must be left 100 % open. 50 + 50 = 100. There may be no definite answers.


5. Do you think religion will ever vanish?

— The day this earth maybe is demolished, and only then, will religion vanish. Until that happens, I believe that religion has far too firm a grip on people to ever let go. If we look at how much religion has destroyed, killed and violated, and how easy it is to detect the psychological mechanisms of religion, it is very perplexing that people have not abandoned the idea altogether a long time ago. Even when millions are made homeless and masses get killed in religious conflicts, people still cling onto their faith, not daring to say: "I do not know if there is a god" or "I do not know if there is an afterlife". It is easier to fall back on a ready-made road to redemption, and believe in something abstract. As long as there is fanaticism, as long as holy scripts are presented as the "truth" for young persons, and as long as priests are allowed to preach about heaven and hell, and fear is instilled in congregations, religion will survive.

Religion will continue to be a source of paranoia, bigotry, moralism, wars and terrorism as long as there are people left, and that saddens me greatly.


The production of The Holy Bigotry was not an easy task: I felt quite disheartened throughout, however, I'm too much of a recluse by nature to be an activist and speak against the dynamic fickleness of human nature. Thus, in The Holy Bigotry and in this interview I have said what I need to say about religion and politics; human-made factors that are totally alien to me. I must instead use my effort on mirroring the art I constantly carry with me, being a humble carrier of a "naturezenship" of the High Mountains of Music.




 Did we ask to be born? If not, we can't be held responsible for having to die.
Flint Juventino Beppe, director and composer for The Holy Bigotry





















The award-winning documentary Exhaling Music tells of Beppe's intense and life-threatening breach with religion when he was 17.
His childhood religion could never follow him into adulthood.






























— Religion will continue to be a source of paranoia, bigotry, moralism, wars and terrorism as long as there are people left, and
that saddens me greatly.
(FJB). Artwork by Line Majormoen.