Now Something Is Slowly Changing review – a cold hard look at personal growth
From leadership training with horses to learning emotional growth with pigs, the self-improvement industry is coolly scrutinised in this enigmatic documentary
Menna Laura Meijer’s documentary is an intriguing, if distinctly refrigerated, look at the various ways in which people in the Netherlands are coached in personal growth and mindfulness. The movie is a series of tableaux, with the various study sessions and encounter groups shot from a distance in a fixed camera position, very rarely cutting to a closeup. The movie washes every scene with an invigoratingly cold, clear light and there is an elegant visual and compositional sense in every frame.
We see quarterlife crisis coaching and leadership training with horses; people learn emotional focus and centredness by lying down in a barnyard stroking some very clean-looking pigs. Cops learn not to react to provocation through role-playing. People learn how to take ownership of their emotions so their emotions do not take ownership of them. There is tree climbing to overcome fear and some (eminently sensible) tutoring in fall prevention for senior citizens.