The film As It Is in Heaven (2004) dwells upon some of the most important planning issues. It portrays the difference between two cultures, urban and rural. It goes without saying that these two cultures shape people’s behavior and their ways of life. One of the basic differences between the two cultures is community environment. For instance, in urban areas there can hardly be the notion of neighborhood, since in urban areas people are concerned with their problems and do not pay attention to what is going on around them.
On the contrary, rural areas are characterized by certain community environment where people know each other, and often intervene in each other’s lives. It is important to add that public opinion is what people in urban areas ignore in the majority of cases. People simply have no time to watch after someone else.
Besides, there are far too many people in urban areas, so everyone is almost invisible in such a crowd. However, in rural areas people try to have positive image and take into account the public opinion, the opinion of people living in the neighborhood. This peculiarity of rural areas is revealed in the film. For instance, many people (especially women) try to make their neighbors conduct in accordance with high morality.
Such people as Siv even have no time for their private life since they keep an eye on the neighborhood. It goes without saying that such peculiarities of culture shape people’s behavior. As far as urban areas are concerned, people enjoy much individual freedom and that is why they are bolder, so to speak. As for rural communities people do not have much of individual freedom. People are afraid to do something that can evoke negative attitude of neighbors. Some may say that it is good since people in rural areas are watched and will have to conduct properly.
However, this is not the case. In rural areas people often misbehave, but try to conceal their inappropriate behavior. Thus, Gabriella is beaten by a husband and community did not affect her husband to prevent that disgraceful behavior. However, rural areas provide people with something that cannot be underestimated. In rural areas people feel the support of their neighbors and whenever something bad happens they can count on others to help them. There is almost nothing of this kind in urban areas where people often feel lonely and depressed because of the lack of support and even communication.
I have experience in both cultures so I can point out positive and negative point in both of them. The negative facets of these cultures are as follows: in urban areas people are too distant from each other, and in rural areas it is sometimes quite hard to feel free. However, I must say that in rural area it is easier to live since people feel support and can count on their neighborhood. I was lucky to live in a rural area where people were not so concerned with morality, and there was quite a lot of individual freedom. Thus, every rule has exceptions, and in urban areas people sometimes feel support.
On balance, I would like to point out that proper and effective planning presupposes that all the peculiarities of these two areas are taken into account. Perfect area for living should include positive points of both cultures and should not have negative facets of these cultures.