The Trouble with Nature

Denmark 2020, Rotterdam Bright Future competition

First feature film by Illum Jacobi


The year 1769. The philosopher Edmund Burke has fled London, debt collectors and a ramping midlife crisis to go on a grandtour of the Alps to rewrite his book on the Sublime in this 18. century roadmovie.


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Stakes are high – Burke has lost everything in risky colonial investments and his future depends on the success of the new edition of his youth masterpiece and his bold face-to-face meeting with nature. Having lost his staff he is traveling only with a native servant on loan from his brother’s plantation in the west indies. The trip is a disaster – Burke has never been outside the city and finds himself lost in Provence struggling to even find the Alps. Furthermore he discovers that he hates nature – it stings, itches and fails to give him any enlightenment. Meanwhile his servant is deeply involved with everything around her and Burke grows bitter and jealous of her easy connection to the wild elements. Burke’s increasingly desperate and pathetic attempt to unlock the mysteries of the sublime, turns suicidal when he discovers a glacier of sparkling ice that leads up to a divine snow covered peak that he begins to climb thinking he can prove himself the master of nature and revenge the discomforts it has bestowed upon him.