Christiania is a squatter community occupying an abandoned military base in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark.
We began making this documentary in 2006 and spent a total of nine weeks over the course of three years and three trips filming it.
Photo by nisjensen.dk
We are currently in post-production and are looking forward to working with Myra Moreta, a very talented composer, on an original score. We will also be working with a sound designer and mixer and a colorist to finish the film.
Your support will enable us to complete this exciting and important finishing work and help us to move on to the final leg of our journey - making the film available for audiences to enjoy.
You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You tells the story of the “free state” of Christiania, a 40-year-old anarchist squatter community occupying an abandoned military base in the heart of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen.
Christiania was born in 1971 when youthful idealism and a severe housing shortage incited hundreds of young people to “storm the gates” and claim 85 acres of deserted brick buildings, woods, ramparts and canals as their home. Finding it politically unpopular to evict the young settlers, the Danish government declared Christiania a short-term “social experiment.”
With the freedom to experiment, the Christianites built a distinct culture based on group consensus, and a thriving economy of restaurants, bars, cottage industries, and an open hashish trade. In every respect, Christiania became an alternative that challenged, inspired, and frightened the society outside.
40 years later, Christiania is still alive, despite increasingly uneasy relations with the Danish government, which plans to “normalize” Christiania. After years of struggle and compromise, many say that the end is near for this famous “social experiment”.
You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You explores this crisis from varied perspectives; longtime Christiania residents, government and police officials who argue the legality of Christiania’s occupation, and the Danish people, who view Christiania as a symbol of freedom that they both cherish and fear.
Photo by nisjensen.dk
Here is what PBS travel guru, Rick Steves, has to say about our film
Robert Lawson and Richard Jackman of Bus No. 8 are producing a compelling video documentary on the story and struggles of Christiania. This is the Copenhagen squatter community that for over 35 years has confounded local developers and provided creative and peace-loving non-materialists inspiration in a world driven to conformity and greater consumption.
The video humanizes the community, taking viewers behind the scenes and into the minds of people who have spent their entire lives living their idealistic dream.
As their land - once an un-used and virtually worthless military barracks - is now coveted by developers, Christiania faces the most serious threat yet to its very existence.
It's my hope that this video will not be a historical work documenting a utopia that died in the early 21st century, but that it will mobilize public opinion to help the people of Christiania keep and maintain their little corner of our otherwise fast-paced and progressively soulless world.
Either way, the efforts of Lawson, Jackman, and Bus No. 8 deserve support and praise.
Author, Rick Steves' Denmark
Host, PBS series Rick Steves' Europe
President, Europe Through the Back Door (www.ricksteves.com)
See Rick Steves' endorsement here
And from the Christiania Researcher in Residence (CRIR) Administrative head
Here is an example of photographer and documentary subject Nis Jensen's work. For $500 or more, you could have a signed photograph from this amazing photographer! Photo by nisjensen.dk
Another photograph by Nis - of Nis's home! You could be enjoying lunch at this very table, right in the heart of Christiania, at the Honorary Christianite: Smørrebrød og tour med Lis level! (Be sure to ask Nis about Lis) Photo by nisjensen.dk
Yes. We really are that committed!
Rich's tattoo reads, "I kan ikke slå os ihjel, Vi er en del af jer selv" (You Cannot Kill Us, We Are a Part of You) - Christiania's anthem.
Robert's tattoo is the Loppen symbol. Loppen means "flea" in Danish and is the name of a major music club in the Loppen building in Christiania. Permission to have the Loppen symbol tattooed was granted by members of the Loppen collective!
Both tattoos were performed in a tiny tattoo shop in Christiania (you can see it in the "Economy" video on the updates page!)