Farmers in Romania have been harvesting Now That’s What I Call Music CDs since 1983, but a mixture of poor crops and the closure of Woolworth’s has placed this community under threat.
Now, for the first time, an amateur filmmaker has gained access to a secretive world. We watch as the brothers sow minidiscs, sacrifice a sheep to Gina G, and pray for a bountiful harvest at the Andi Peters stone. But life is not easy for these men. The land is barren, and each day they chase Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe from their ill-defended farm.
“Being able to document one of the last NTWICM compilation harvests was a humbling experience,” says Anthony Richardson, who followed the farmers for six months.
“I saw at close hand the futility of it all. They put in so much, but the soil was against them. Where once they’d reap feel good songs like ‘You’re Gorgeous’ by Babybird and ‘Se a Vida E’ by The Pet Shop Boys, now they’re stuck with Rihanna. It is a futile existence.”
“They handed me a free copy of Now 72, and nodded enthusiastically as I looked at the track listing. But nothing could disguise the fact that Side 2 was terrible.”
Poor crops, barren land, Zane Lowe. This is the plight of the Romanian Now That’s What I Call Music Farmers.
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