• Română
  • English
Home

The Netherlands

    You are here

    • You are here:
    • Home > The Netherlands
Directed by: 
DOUWE DIJKSTRA
Douwe Dijkstra returns to BIEFF with his latest award-winning movie, Supporting Film. A love (and hate) letter to cinema, Dijkstra’s clever and inventive film explores the fussy relationship between you, the viewer, and cinema. Be it communal or solitary, the personal experience of watching films is scrutinized by spectators of all ages, whose recorded testimonies become in Dijkstra’s illustrative, animating hands, individual worlds of artisanal wonder and childlike exuberance. From the opening credits to the closing scrawl and everything in-between, individual idiosyncrasies clash and bond with film language in a celebration of cinema and its power to suspend our disbelief. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
GUIDO HENDRIKX
Paedophilia - a taboo that elicits immediate and unshaken aversion, but what if you were the one afflicted by it? Guido Hendrikx’s Among Us takes us through the confessionals of three highly-educated, closeted pedophiles, as they describe their history of discovery, repression and (impossible?) reconciliation with this affliction. Hendrikx captures the poetic bliss and dizzying confusion of the three subjects’ self-confessed trigger of visualization by focusing on the black-and-white cinematography’s greyscale palette. Never exploitative or sensationalistic in dealing with the unsettling dimension of its subject, Among Us operates as an non-judgemental platform for the avowal of repression’s life-long trauma. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
MARTIJN VELDHOEN
In an attempt to plot his own existence against the coordinates 'time', 'place' and family history, Martijn Veldhoen turns his camera on his mother's life story in a unique cinematic experiment. Time and Place, a Talk with My Mom retraces fifty years in the life of Veldhoen's mother. She fell in love with his father, they had four children, then a painful separation followed and the wearisome years as a single mother of four. Beyond reminiscences of her personal story, we witness the turbulent cultural and social changes of the sixties, seventies, and eighties. The recorded material being insufficient, Martijn Veldhoen masterfully employs original visual reconstructions to create a personal and affectionate narrative. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2016)
Directed by: 
CĂLIN DAN
Renowned Romanian artist Călin Dan marks his return to the Festival with Still Life, Poire Gelée, a meditative companion-piece to his 2012 film Still Life, 20th C. Where the former film operated within the tradition of fiction and documentary cinema, Still Life, Poire Gelée goes deeper within the conceptual realm of video-art. Ideas of architectural form, memory and maternal lineage all congeal in the symbolic life-cycle depicted the gradual build-up and eventual erosion of a mound of white powder. Beneath it all, lies the female form, tranquil and contemplative, pulsating to the rhythm of life within the granules of time. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
PETER GREENAWAY
The venerated filmmaker Eisenstein is comparable in talent, insight and wisdom, with the likes of Shakespeare or Beethoven; there are few - if any - directors who can be elevated to such heights. On the back of his revolutionary film Battleship Potemkin, he was celebrated around the world, and invited to the US. Ultimately rejected by Hollywood and maliciously maligned by conservative Americans, Eisenstein traveled to Mexico in 1931 to consider a film privately funded by American pro-Communist sympathizers, headed by the American writer Upton Sinclair. Eisenstein's sensual Mexican experience appears to have been pivotal in his life and film career - a significant hinge between the early successes of Strike, Battleship Potemkin, and October, which made him a world-renowned figure, and his hesitant later career with Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible and The Boyar's Plot. (written by Peter Greenaway)

Set in Mexico during the '10 days that shook' Russia’s greatest silent filmmaker, Eisenstein in Guanajuato marks Peter Greenaway’s raucous attempt to capture his all-time cinema idol at his moment of greatest personal discovery and deepest professional frustration — which, the film takes great delight in suggesting, coincided with the loss of his virginity, at age 33, so far from his (still) homophobic homeland. Determined to breathe fresh life into a medium he insists has scarcely evolved in the 90 years since Sergei Eisenstein made Strike, Greenaway has wrought an outrageously unconventional and deliriously profane biopic that could take decades to be duly appreciated. (Peter Debruge, Variety)

Erotically charged and artfully crafted, Eisenstein in Guanajuato is the first of two titles devoted to portions of Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s life, and proves Peter Greenaway has lost none of his edge. At the age of 72, British auteur filmmaker maintains his ability to amaze. Ever the provocative experimentalist, he belongs to a rare class of director, one who manages to delight and confound, challenge and dismay even into his later period of film making. There’s a perverse thrill to be had watching the daringness on display in this examination of a Russian legend that bluntly examines his sexual orientation in a way that would never be produced from his native country. (Nicholas Bell, ioncinema.com)
Directed by: 
ALEKSANDR SOKUROV
Another century has passed on the Old Continent... Large armies are trampling on the heart of civilisation and cannon fire is once again taking its toll. Amidst the massacre and the ruins, everything majestic, magnificent, and sacred, that  took millions of minutes and hours of determined labour to build, is wiped out. Jacques Jaujard and Count Franziskus Wolff Metternich worked together to protect and preserve the treasure of the Louvre Museum. Aleksandr Sokurov tells their story. He explores the relationship between art and power, and asks what art tells us about ourselves, at the very heart of one of the most devastating conflicts the world has ever known.

With this sophisticated, complex and thoroughly absorbing film, Aleksandr Sokurov has had another night at the museum reverie, a cine-prose poem or animated installation tableau, weaving newsreel footage with eerie floating images above the streets of contemporary Paris – presumably filmed with a drone – and dramatised fantasy scenes. Thirteen years after Russian Ark, that renowned single-take movie journey through the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg, Sokurov has now alighted on the Louvre in Paris. Francofonia has all sorts of wayward digressions and perambulations around the idea of French and European culture, and the role of the museum in conserving art and promoting the idea of what it means to be human. (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian)

It will be impossible to neatly package Francofonia into a brief and accurate description, since Aleksandr Sokurov’s dense, enriching meditation on the Louvre and specifically (but not exclusively) the museum’s status during WWII defies categorization. View the trailer and you might think the film is essentially a Sokurovian dramatization of the uncertain relationship between the Louvre’s wartime director and the Nazi officer in charge of preserving France’s artistic patrimony. Watching the film, however, a larger picture emerges, in which Sokurov engages with Paris itself and the philosophical concept of a great museum. (Jay Weissberg, Variety)
Directed by: 
KAREL VAN LAERE
Lie on your back, arms along sides and pretend you cannot move from neck down. Does it get uncomfortable? Would you like a pillow? Do you have an itching nose?  You'll have to wait until someone comes along. Does it feel like you've already waited for hours? (There haven't been more than 5 minutes). Welcome to the world of the quadriplegic. With Paralysis, visual artist Karel van Laere submits himself to such an experiment and documents his (physically) painful and (mentally) disturbing 24-hours journey to the world of the paralysed. The outcome is a powerful statement about the multivalence of the human body, at the same time fragile and enduring, and capable of telling stories not only when in motion, but also at a standstill. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
ROY VILLEVOYE & JAN DIETVORST
Documenting the production - in a Dutch studio - of a lifelike statue portraying a white, middle-aged man and then moving somehow unexpectedly to interviews on location with Asmat people of Papua New Guinea, The Double deals with the process of fabrication - of the individual and of its representation - in its double meaning. While we witness the disturbingly accurate physical construction of the statue, voice-overs offer divergent narratives regarding the identity and the personality of its muse. Through their various degrees of fabrication, rather than revealing, these sometimes contradicting perspectives preserve the mystery around who this man really was. The Double thus questions the very possibility of actually ever grasping the true essence of a human being, therefore inquiring in an ingenious way into the relationship between cultures, between us and them, as part of the artists’ longtime interest in post-colonialism. (Ioana Florescu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
MELANIE BONAJO
Screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Night Soil – Economy of Love portrays “a Brooklyn-based movement of female sex workers, regarding their work as a way for women to reclaim power in a male-dominated pleasure zone; their mission being to rearrange sexual conventions and ideas about intimacy itself. Vivid imagery is accompanied by a spoken score, revealing Bonajo’s vision on contemporary spirituality and expectations surrounding gender roles, by playful, sensual, and feminist-driven means. (…) Bonajo questions the complex relationships that exist within and without the natural world, challenging the traditional notions that divide nature, people, and technology.” (Galerie AKINCI)
Directed by: 
SONJA WYSS
If Jung's theory is true and "every mother contains her daughter in herself and every daughter her mother", small wonder that a mother-daughter relationship is anything but smooth and rosy, since apart from an inherent conflict between generations there is a permanent confrontation with one's own self. With She/Her, Sonja Wyss goes deep into the anatomy of such a relationship, unwrapping layer after layer of feelings of resentment, disapproval, rebellion, and self-consciousness until she reaches a hidden core of delicate affection. Restrained movements portray a middle-aged, middle class comme il faut mother, defied by the daughter's rebellious outbursts. Eventually, her frantic dance fades into reconciliation. After all, her mother is nothing but a future version of herself. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
CLARA VAN GOOL
A banking blog, ten dancers from top ballet companies in the Netherlands and England, and the realistic setting of London of today as backdrop proved to be a winning combination. The awarded docu-dance film Voices of Finance is named after and based on the former Guardian's 'banking blog', in which its author, Joris Luyendijk, looked at finance from an anthropological perspective. In a succession of danced monologues, the performers play bankers and others across the financial sector, who speak about their lives and describe a typical working day. Clara van Gool captures the energy of their dance which she expertly blends with spoken text. The result is a singular glimpse into the glamorous and stressful culture of the financial world. (Adina Marin, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
MENNO OTTEN
Winner of the Dutch Directors Guild Award, VIA DOLOROSA shows an intense catholic ritual, willfully separated from its religious context. Through a subtle montage of short-focused close-ups, MENNO OTTEN captures the emotions of the men as they carry a heavy cross, ultimately revealing pain as a transcendental experience. As the exterior sounds are gradually muted, the beating of the drum sets the pace of the men’s ritualistic stride, their labored breathing unconsciously synchronized in a unitary hum of quiet suffering. Thus, empathy awakened, we are taken on an initiatory journey through cheerfulness, pain, acceptance, peace and finally release. (BIEFF)
Directed by: 
FLOOR VAN DER MEULEN, THOMAS VROEGE, ISSA TOUMA
Raw footage shot from a window, hastily made photographs and a voice over narration reconstructed post-factum from diary notes paint a gruelling picture of a war in first person. Awarded the Best Short Film Prize by the European Film Academy, 9 Days  From My Window in Aleppo is a harrowing documentary that counters the romanticized view on the Syrian Civil War as presented by the Western press. Through minimalistic means, Syrian photographer Issa Touma, at the same time filming and being filmed, shows how a warfare becomes an integral part of the normalcy of everyday life. As gunshots rattle freely from the window, art becomes the only remaining survival mechanism. (Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
DOUWE DIJKSTRA
In DÉMONTABLE, our domestic space turns into a world reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels, invaded by miniature projections of the outside world.A funny, playful film on the absurd relationship between daily life and global news. The level of media saturation we’re bombarded with creates an absurd distortion and distance between our daily routine and current affairs. Démontable explores this bizarre melange of realities by throwing the two worlds together: attack helicopters shred a newspaper, while a dinner plate suffers a drone strike. They’re a series of attempts to try and understand our world better by playing with its violent protagonists. (Douwe Dijkstra)
Directed by: 
YAEL BARTANA
In Yael Bartana’s INFERNO, religion and its symbolism’s (mis)appropriations take front stage, in a film of epic proportions. In present-day São Paulo, Brazil, the inauguration of The Third Temple of Solomon turns from jubilant celebration to horrific apocalypse. Bartana opts to tell this story without dialogue, relying on a glossy, Hollywood style to transport this Biblical event in the present. As much as it is a high-budget disaster film, Inferno ultimately becomes a multi-layered commentary on religion, history and the politics of their conflation by today’s seemingly amnesiac collective memory. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
BORIS PAVAL CONEN
An emotional, expressive film, enriched by a skillful play on genre film conventions (thriller, burlesque comedy, melodrama), BETWEEN ENTRANCE AND EXIT shows life as an abandoned, haunted house, in the captivity of which lay the memories of a heartbreaking love story. In a dysfunctional relationship like an out of tune piano, the two protagonists repeatedly seek and find each other in a labyrinth of rooms and mirrors, each showing a different stage of a dichotomic vicious circle of love and hate. The film successfully combines choreography and film language in a captivating way that triggers empathy and urges reflection on the nature of human desires and the ephemerality of life.  (Gabriela Lupu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
GIANNI GROT
Gianni Grot's proclaimed aim to put hip hop on the map as a physical form of theatre materializes brilliantly in Farm of Memories, a fluid tale moving back and forth between the conscious and the unconscious, and populated by visions likely to have been unleashed by the contents of a syringe injected in the vein. A destitute young man hip-hops his way around a derelict warehouse as he tries to put together memories of his childhood or of more recent years. The emotionally charged choreography creates a touching portrait of a man longing for love and security and struggling to get near the people in his life who are supposed to offer them. But they are nothing more than chimerical apparitions and, as in nighmares, they would remain out of reach and leave  him face his demons alone. (Adina Marin, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
ELBE STEVENS
A young couple take their breakfast in unison and head off, driving down a mountainside on their way to a birthday party. Everlasting love pulsates the past into the present: as flashbacks recall their first date, the present moves toward unavoidable tragedy. Rhythm and movement secure their bodies in the synchronized dance of life, death being the only disruptive element that cuts off their love’s intense continuity. An effervescent drama, FLIGHT OF LIFE takes the viewer on the timeless and fateful trip that binds two souls to the passage of life. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
KATHARINA CONRADI & SERGIO GRIDELLI
With a fresh perspective on the role of urban space, HORIZON means the break of the routine, in search for the skyline and balance. The functional essential role of space is reimagined through the protagonist’s playful acrobatics, which enfolds her, ignoring the suspicious eyes of the surrounding robotic world. The desperate and disoriented search of the young woman, culminates with the discovery of a wall blocking her way, raising questions about the effect of urban space on personal freedom. Although treated with humor, the film tackles a serious subject, namely that the horizon remains only a concept in a society obsessed with ascending. (Gabriela Lupu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
BARBARA MAKKINGA
I AM THE ONLY tells the coming of age story of a boy in the context of a troublesome relationship between him and his family. In symbolic images, we are shown the expanding, undaunted nature of the child, in contrast with the irrational fearing attitude of his older relatives. In a sinister atmosphere the child becomes the parent and the parents become a burden. Allowing a close relationships to form, he quickly learns of their deviant, sick nature that leads to nowhere. In his good intentions, he tries to rescue them, but one by one they fall, leaving him alone. Unsurprisingly, the young adult, expresses his joy in a power extruding choreography returning him to his previous innocent self. (Gabriela Lupu, BIEFF) 
Directed by: 
HARM WEISTRA
A lone male protagonist alone in the middle of a darkened marbled interior. Approached by another man, he enters into a playful game of magnetism, their bodies attracting and repelling each other in sinuous sensuality. Stasis brings forth a third person, the one that separates the two and lures the protagonist in his narrative’s metaphor of personal (sexual) development. Their embracing dance cut short, he is left once again on his own, this time with an assurance and understanding that radiates in the tomb-like interior. A game of attractions and identity, chasing each other to their final destination - that of self-empowerment and pride, glowing in the face of prejudice. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
PAUL SIXTA
Of all -isms that govern our lives, the one suffixing the concept of love opens the way for virtually unbounded philosophical investigation. Inspired by Erich Fromm’s book The Art of Loving, choreographer Mor Shani embarked upon a long-term study of intimacy, seeking answers to questions related to caring for and depending on another human being weighed on a scale that ranges from sin to sacredness. The collaboration with video artist Paul Sixta resulted in the project Love-ism, a blend of documentary material and honest tales of inter-human togetherness. In the ambiance of sterile white rooms, the camera records with a thorough yet empathic eye, lovers, family members, and dancers as they come close to each other, the increasing degree of their intimacy capturing the human experience of meeting a significant 'other'. (Adina Marin, BIEFF)
Directed by: 
KAREL VAN LAERE
SLOW is a performance that shows the defenceless human body surrounded by machines, systems, etc. In Taiwan, like in other Asian countries, there are strict rules people have to live by, rules which cannot be easily put aside. Slowly but imperturbable the boy in the video follows his own path. Using an invisible electric tackle, he drags himself in an even tempo through the Taiwanese urban landscape, marking in an entertaining and wondrous way the contrast between the route of the defenceless human body and the hectic world surrounding it.
Directed by: 
RUBEN VAN LEER
Digital art, dance and physics blend to create a rumination on the philosophical mysteries swirling around in our universe in a film that touches on love, philosophy and the nature of life. Filmed on location in Switzerland at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) - home of The Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and most powerful particle collider, the largest experimental facility ever built, and the largest single machine in the world – Symmetry follows a researcher working passionately on the theory of everything and the smallest particle. Ruben van Leer skilfully utilises a unique interplay of choreography and sound to express the two sides of our understanding, one rational, the other emotional. The scientist's routine is interrupted by the voice of soprano Claron McFadden, which eventually transports him to an interior world, as an expression of how our drive for rational knowledge of the universe is rooted in a deeper, more emotional desire inside ourselves. (Hyperallergic.com)
Directed by: 
THOMAS BOS
Honest and original, THE GINGER CONNECTION is a film about being an outsider and belonging, about the unspoken connection between redhead people, seen in correlation with dance. Out on his daily run, the main character, a redhead, is greeted on his way by fellow gingers, getting to compete in skills in a mix of sport movements, gymnastics, street dance and break dance. A special atmosphere is createed, by the overlap  of permanent violin sounds with various modern pieces unrelining the sensibility that lays beyond the strong surface. Exciting, with a potential of socio-artistic manifesto, the film exudes optimism, urging minorities to gather. (Gabriela Lupu, BIEFF)