APRIL 10 - APRIL 13, 2024

Interview | Before the Oil

Movie Name – Before the Oil
Director Name – Roel Swierenga



Hello Roel! Welcome to SIFF


1. Although you have tried to send a wonderful message through this movie, still we would like to hear it from you. What message do you want to send across?

In short, we need nature for our wellbeing. So let’s take care of nature and treat her wisely and not waste her.

The energy transition will affect us all. Most of us live in cities or urban areas and we take it for granted that we always have access to energy, that the lights go on when you turn the light switch. But this energy has to come from somewhere, it has to be generated. We are used to oil & gas, addicted to fossil fuels. But we need to change to renewable energy for obvious reasons, windmills for example. But we don’t want to see them, ‘not in my backyard!’. Well, we can’t have it all, we can’t have all the luxury that we are used to nowadays and ignore that everything we
do costs energy and comes with a price and a consequence. We seem to have forgotten that, we have lost our connection with nature. But we need a healthy nature to take care of ourselves. Do we really need all this luxury of today, can we afford to throw 1⁄3 of all food we produce away, can we just go on with emitting harmfull emissions and CO2 and pollute the world with plastic waste? Or is it time that we take a look in the mirror and confront ourselves
with the consequences of our lifestyle and constant need for more energy?
We need nature, nature does not need us.

Our character Odd Kvinen is holding us this mirror.


2. Are you a pet lover? The husky farm run by Odd Kvinen has made everyone curious about your love for pets.

Yes, when I was young we had a very cute dog, not as big and strong as the huskies, but a very nice dog. A dog attaches to his owner and is totally dependent and loyal to you, like a bond for life, pure and unconditional. When you visit the husky farm and go for a ride with the dogs you feel this man-dog connection very strongly. No tech, no computer, machine or online friend, just you and the dogs. A very strong primal bond, I love that.

3. What’s your definition of sustainability?

I guess that I would define sustainability as the responsibility to care for the environment, meaning not to waste resources so that they will remain for future generations.


4. How do you think we can be more sustainable in today’s fast-paced world?

I think it starts with education, starting with kids at a very early age teaching them to respect nature, that it is not OK to dispose litter anywhere you like but to dispose litter in a responsible way with respect for the environment.

5. What’s your take on global warming and how it’s affecting the environment?

Global warming is happening and we all see the consequences of global warming and climate change all around the world. Nature is responding with extreme weather events to deforestation, depleting of natural resources, CO2 emissions etc. Let’s not forget that nature does not need us human beings, but WE need nature for our own survival, so treating nature with respect to me seems the right thing to do.

6. When you say, we need to make decisions – can you tell us about a few decisions right now that can help the world to combat global warming?

One of the first simple things we could do is to stop deforestation, re-plant trees & vegetation, and reduce the use of fossil fuels asap and increase the use of renewable energy and low carbon solutions.

7. We talk about renewable energy but aren’t they expensive?

No, renewable energy is not more expensive compared to fossil fuels if you would calculate the environmental damage caused by the exploration, extraction, refining and distribution of fossil fuels, let alone the damage caused by the emissions. If this all would be incorporated in the real prize of fossil fuels then renewable energies are a real bargain.


8. When you say – ‘are we willing to change’ – well, maybe it’s because of our comfort with non-renewable energy sources that we are scared to venture into a new territory. How do you think you can convince the masses for a change to venture into an unknown territory?

Here you touch upon a very important issue, we are used to having cheap energy available and we were not interested in the negative side of this. Until recently and it is getting clear to all of us that we cannot continue on our current path if we want to secure our future. Change is difficult, most of us humans don’t like to change if there is no real need to change. You are absolutely right that we are used to the comfort non-renewable energy brings us. And yes we are entering into unknown territory, but people are innovative, we will find better ways to fulfill our energy
needs without depleting our resources. Change will be difficult and challenging, but when we succeed we all will benefit. I am optimistic about that😉.

9. How do you think we can balance nature and the choices we need to make in contemporary times? Balancing is challenging which is why people are not happy to take the route of renewable and clean energy. How to create the perfect balance?

This will be a challenge, I fully agree. But by making the switch to renewable energy and low carbon solutions, showcasing how this can be done, teaching and educating people why it is important to move towards clean energy, I hope we will find a new balance that is much more aligned with respect for nature and the resources our planet holds for us.


10. It was a joy having you here. Hope you enjoyed working with SIFF!

Yes absolutely, my pleasure working with you. I love your film festival and hope to join again with a new film project.

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