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The Rusjan flying brothers

Last Friday in Gorizia I attended the première of “the Rusjan flying brothers” (Leteča brata Rusjan), the story of  the first aircraft designers and builders in the Austro-Hungarian empire who were able to perform a fully controllable flight.

Rusjan_strip

LETEČA BRATA RUSJAN (The Rusjan flying brothers)
A story about victory at all costs
Docu-fiction about human character and the beginnings of aviation in the Gorizia region
Directed by Boris Palčič
Production: Casablanca
Co-production: Transmedia (I), RTV Slovenija (Slo), Qollective (Slo), Bad film (Gr), Hargla (Lv)

The movie makes a great job in underlining their incredible resolution and the enormousness of their undertaking, especially remarkable as it had been achieved in lack of resources, with no formal engineering education in their background (they worked in their father’s cooper shop) and in a small town like Gorizia/Gorica/Görz, at the edge of “the grand World”.

But, besides all these special circumstances, there is one consideration that sprang to my mind as related to the the way in which modern communication tools completely changed the game. Guessing how a flying machine could work by reading newspaper chronicles of early air shows, trying to figure out the right materials and size and shape of the airplane parts: all these tasks were part of their quest, and make a striking contrast when compared with the incredible ease with which a huge body of knowledge is immediately available to anyone who needs it nowadays.

With this in mind, the idea of having a genius instead of being one (as proposed by Elizabeth Gilbert in her speech at TED 2009 – see my previous post) takes a slightly different meaning, outlining the importance – in all creative deeds – of mutual influences between the individual and their surrounding environment and how the idea of shifting the emphasis away from the individual is specially relevant in a networked society.

[More on the Rusjan brothers can be found on www.edvard-rusjan.it – the movie will be aired on RTV Slovenija 1 on Feb 24, 21:00]