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Mattias Olsson is a Swedish film maker. His latest film, a documentary, is “The Art of Slowing Down Time, 164 Days Alone at Sea”. I highly recommend it. This post is mostly about it. But first, a quick word about Mattias’s marketing.

I’ve followed him for years now. I think his work is important and, frankly, supporting him is an easy, painless way I can do something to save the planet without moving from my big, comfy chair. He sent an email to all his followers that was very simple: hey, I’m releasing a new film shortly, would you write about it? I said sure and am posting about it here and on my social media platforms. I don’t know how many of his community chose to write about it as I have, but if his community tends to mirror his values, and I think it does, and if all our communities tend to mirror our values, and I think they do, then this should be an efficient (and free) piece of marketing.

And now, back to the film. I hope you watch it…

It’s the story of Emma Ringqvist and her desire to explore loneliness. Her choice is to sail, solo, across the Atlantic and then some, with much of her journey coming after her engine gives out. She shares lots and lots of emotions, from “Why am I doing this??” to “This is why I’m doing this!!” To avoid a storm, she makes her way to Tristan Da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island chain in the world, where the people all have a second summer home on a different part of their tiny island (??). And she passes through The Doldrums, that patch in the southern Atlantic that can be without wind for weeks (with a dead engine), where she finds new meaning to her journey.

I don’t know whether Mattias released this short documentary as we come out of a pandemic on purpose, but his message is certainly well timed. And he adds the poetry of Stephen Jenkinson, but just a little, which was a delightful surprise for me. Jenkinson is one of the wisest thinkers and writers of our time.

Olsson summarizes his work as “Inspiring Change Through Film” and “Documentaries for a Transition Into a More Beautiful World”. Also:

“Imagine you’ve left the old story behind. You know, the one that takes for granted that Earth belongs to humans to exploit at will. You’ve started a hike into the unknown. There’s no map…”

His films show people simply, imperfectly, finding their way on that hike away from the unsustainable and into the unknown. Without a map. His work I believe is his contribution to that map. Yet his films are never preachy. They’re insightful, yet gentle. He never pushes, always allowing you to see the truth at your own pace. That takes bravery and humility. Olsson operates in both spaces with equal skill.

And his work is always beautiful.

“The Art of Slowing Down Time…” is Olsson’s latest piece of that map. Offered bravely but humbly, not to polish his version of his map, but to inform yours. It releases today, Tuesday, April 26th, on his website,, and I hope today, or any day after that, you take 30 minutes to watch the film. And if you’re moved to support his work as I have been, I hope you make a donation.