Babakar David Zitte and his snowboarders are inseparable from the age of three. Born in Zurich with mountains in his yard, he had skis tied to his toes, and went snowboarding earlier than he might barely stroll and tie his boots.
After ending highschool, Jite moved a number of hours south to Lax, a sprawling resort that boasts one of many largest parks in Europe. He shortly noticed many sponsors, started touring the world, and joined the competitors circuit. However, after a significant accident in 2015 that resulted in a number of rib fractures and the elimination of his spleen and a part of his pancreas, he, understandably, started to query his relationship with snowboarding.
Break day gave him a brand new perspective. He discovered that for him, snowboarding is as a lot about exploring the mountain as it’s exploring the workings of his thoughts—a sense that brings him nearer to the game, and signed up for a level in psychology. .
His new movie, Eudemonia, was created by the collision of those two worlds. Director Fabian F. Filmed throughout lockdown with Fuchs, the movie captures Zitti in quest of a “state of movement” as he rides by way of the backcountry in parks and lakes alone. Not like a variety of snowboarding motion pictures, Eudemonia is not about glorifying the acute facet of the game. It is not about capturing distant areas, taking massive jumps, or driving the deepest, untouched traces. As an alternative of specializing in Zite’s efficiency, the movie provides a extra intimate depiction of Zite’s relationship with snowboarding, which comes from being utterly immersed in driving up the face of a mountain by holding him in a state of movement.
Forward of its premiere, we spoke to Jité to speak in regards to the state of snowboarding, psychological well being, and the trade.
You’re a professional snowboarder however have determined to begin learning psychology. How?
After I completed highschool, I assumed I’d by no means research once more. However after snowboarding for six straight years, I felt there was extra to life. I started to ask myself, what else do I care? I like serving to folks and I like the human thoughts – why we’re so comparable but in addition so particular person – that is why I selected psychology. It’s nonetheless such a younger science and it’s consistently evolving.
You want moments the place you may have enjoyable and simply be infantile and it isn’t about constant efficiency.
A few years in the past you had a foul accident. How has it modified your relationship with snowboarding?
Undoubtedly. Snowboarding could be very performance-based and requires skilled snowboarders to carry out at a really technical stage in an effort to be “the most effective”. However I personally assume what’s greatest? Is it greatest if you happen to do quad flips or is it greatest if you happen to go highest? I’ve at all times had a distinct view of snowboarding. I consider it extra as an artwork form- everybody has their very own particular person model. You’re employed along with your physique in a manner that is nearly like dancing. After my accident, I made a decision to do what I believe is sweet for me and my snowboarding, and concentrate on what I wish to present folks. You want moments the place you may have enjoyable and simply be infantile and it isn’t about constant efficiency.
The place did the thought for the movie come from?
I took a optimistic psychology course as a part of my research. If you happen to take a look at the spectrum of psychology, 90 p.c is about therapeutic the mentally unwell. I’m a really optimistic particular person, and optimistic psychology is for anybody trying to make the most effective of their life. I’ve at all times wished to do one thing conceptual inside snowboarding and have these two worlds come collectively. With Fabian, an artist and a filmmaker who’s now an excellent pal of mine, we got here up with this idea.
Why is it known as eudaimonia?
We selected Eudemonia as a result of it means “good spirit” in Greek. In optimistic psychology, it means having a profitable way of life based mostly on moral ideas. Whereas hedonism refers to subjective well-being – you merely wish to really feel good within the second and keep away from any ache or struggling – eudaimonia is the psychological well-being that you simply get by way of behaving and feeling effectively all through your life. What can I contribute to my life and to the lives of others, in order that life typically is healthier?
You got here up with the idea throughout the pandemic- how did the lockdown have an effect on it?
Lots of my mates had very social, busy lives, they usually had been having a tough time being alone. I wished to point out which you can nonetheless do one thing by yourself with out being depending on others. Know your self in several methods. With Eudemonia we wished to point out how you are able to do this by way of snowboarding and getting right into a state of movement the place you might be in one hundred pc contact with your self.
If you wish to encourage folks to snowboard, make snowboarding lovely.
I believe the state of movement is one thing that could be very tough to realize these days.
though it’s? I am undecided it’s, so long as you are captivated with one thing, as quickly as you begin doing it sooner or later, you are so into that second that you simply utterly lose all the things. . And if you happen to take a look at it retrospectively, more often than not you do not even have the reminiscence of that second. So you may’t clarify to somebody, you may’t be like, “I felt this and this.” All you bear in mind is that you simply felt nice at that second.
How was it totally different from capturing a standard snowboarding film?
We did not have a transparent imaginative and prescient of each shot we wished, however we did have an idea, which is already totally different from most snowboarding motion pictures. Often, you simply exit with a filmmaker, and you then carry out – you do your greatest transfer or your hardest transfer. We knew that we wished to point out the summary ideas of psychology, one in every of which is the state of movement. So the weird manner of depicting snowboarding requires a number of lessons to move these emotions.
The place did you shoot the movie?
It was truly my first yr as I bear in mind after I spent all the season on the LAX. We filmed the entire thing there throughout March and February. More often than not it was simply Elmer, the photographer Dominic, and I used to be on the mountain, which was new to me. Fabian was based mostly in Stuttgart and couldn’t journey to Switzerland as a result of pandemic, so we despatched him footage within the night and he gave us his directional enter on FaceTime.
Not like a variety of snowboarding motion pictures, Eudemonia feels very near what each snowboarder would expertise. Was it one thing you had been decided to carry on to?
The idea was to encourage folks to do one thing for themselves. If you wish to encourage folks to snowboard, make snowboarding lovely. And that is simply my imaginative and prescient and what I am making an attempt to do for snowboarding. I positively wished to point out a relatable facet snowboarding that anybody might do – simply the pure pleasure of driving up a mountain.
Progress shouldn’t be at all times by way of efficiency however by way of information, studying and understanding.
Basically, do you assume accessibility is an issue in snowboarding?
I believe snowboarding actually has a protracted strategy to go in making it extra accessible, primarily as a result of it is a tremendous costly sport. However change is coming. Plenty of manufacturers are beginning to do extra for his or her neighborhood, the North Face Discover Fund Council, which I am a member of, an ideal instance. By non-profit organizations we attempt to assist those that don’t have quick access to the mountains.
I actually wish to see that change. Not solely in trade, however in society as an entire, as a result of the extra numerous it’s, the higher. You’ll be able to study from everybody and their cultures, and bringing in new concepts is very necessary for progress. To take a really private instance, if I hadn’t been learning psychology, I would not have made this film. Progress shouldn’t be at all times by way of efficiency however by way of information, studying and understanding.
Why did you wish to increase the difficulty of psychological well being?
We speak extra about points today than ever earlier than—together with POCs and the illustration of LGBTQ+ folks. However psychological well being continues to be an enormous concern inside sports activities and never many individuals discuss it. It makes everybody extra weak. However this can be a crucial matter and definitely we must always not preserve our voice low. We have to converse up for ourselves and for individuals who can not.
What would you like the viewers to remove from the movie?
I would like everybody to take no matter they need from this movie. So long as it is one thing optimistic. That is the objective.
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