THE WAVE (20', Belgium, 2012)

Screening: Fr, 13 Dec., Elvira Popescu Cinema, 8:00pm

Screened at Locarno and IDFA Paradocs, THE WAVE sets in motion the archaeological gaze of the viewer: a mass grave from the Spanish Civil War opens and closes itself, unraveling a macabre secret. Consisting in 9000 photos and time-lapse recordings, this experimental documentary calls for the collective remembrance of fascist 20th century mass executions. A camera placed above the grave captures the progressive discoveries of an unseen archaeological crew. In the middle of a wasteland, human remains appear, then mysteriously disappear, as if blown by a strong wind, that removed the sand and uncovered death.


With the support of:


Screenplay: Sarah Vanagt, Katrien Vermeire

Cinematography: Katrien Vermeire

Editing: Inneke Van Waeyenberghe

Sound: Larry Sider, Gary Sanctuary

Producer: Sarah Vanagt, Katrien Vermeire

Production: Balthasar, Michigan Films


World Sales


Laurence Alary




SARAH VANAGT (b. 1976) is a documentary filmmaker, video artist and photographer, interested in the relation between history and the origins of cinema. Selective filmography: LITTLE FIGURES (2003), FIRST ELECTIONS (2006), BOULEVARD D'YPRES / IEPERLAAN (2010), THE CORRIDOR (2010). VANAGT is currently working on a film based on pencil rubbings made in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. KATRIEN VERMEIRE (b. 1979, Belgium) is an independent visual artist, with a distinctive poetical style. She studied photography and art history. In the present she is working on the postproduction of the documentary short DER KREISLAUF and a new photo and film project in the US. In 2012 KATRIEN and SARAH directed THE WAVE, which premiered at the Biennale of Sydney.



Locarno Film Festival 2012

IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam – Paradocs 2012

International Independent Film Festival IndieLisboa 2013

Biennale of Sydney 2012

Rencontres Internationales Paris/Madrid/Berlin 2012

Centre Pompidou Paris 2013

EMAF Osnabrück Germany 2013

Kasseler Dokfest Germany 2012

Watch Docs Festival Poland  2012

Courtisane Festival Belgium 2013


“Red earth is being dug up - we hear the excavator before we see it. The landscape also reveals itself only hesitantly. When the clouds finally roll back, we see a sparsely vegetated valley of that same red color, and a river meandering through it. Off-screen, a woman voices her concern: they're supposed to be buried there, but what if they can't find them? We see the result of the digging in time-lapse images (frames shot at a fixed interval, creating a sped-up effect when played back). We never see any people, but it soon becomes clear that the digging is now being done manually. And then the first shoe appears, followed by a lower leg, a bone sticking out of the shoe. After a while, it's obvious that it's not just one person who's buried here. Something horrible has happened in this place. Cut to a long shot of the valley. How could you find anyone buried here so long ago, in this vast, empty space?” (IDFA Paradocs)


THE WAVE becomes a medium that can accommodate histories that need the shelter of darkness, the transformation into legend or fantasy, the density of images or even the wordless space of sensory memory, to become tangible.” (Anke Bangma, Contemporary Art Curator, Tropenuseum Amsterdam)

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