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Documentary projects

The peat stack and the woodland (2004) / Bertus Zefat Memorial

Bertus Zefat Memorial. Ab van Dien pays tribute to the people who helped him hiding during WW II. Film by Martin van den Oever. Script and voice: Petra Timmer. Poem and voice: Remco Campert. Editing: Maarten Theuwkens. Music: Gyorgy Kurtag - Jos Janssen. Dutch spoken English subtitles.




Water of gold (2010) / Remembrances of a war 1945 - 1950

There is a shared history between the two nations of Indonesia and the Netherlands, whereby the main question for us is how to share this history more actively. In our transnational approach to the Dutch/Indonesian war (1946-49) we filmed in Indonesia, in collaboration with our Indonesian team, TNI soldiers and Republican warriors. We looked carefully for a balance that did not effect the reflections of the Dutch veterans that we filmed later in the Netherlands. Our first intention is to make a Dutch audience aware of the Indonesian need for freedom at that time. As a second step we wish to give an Indonesian audience a better insight into how the Dutch are dealing with their colonial past and the war they lost. Starting from a more (visual) anthropologically oriented approach to history and storytelling, we would like to argue with our Water of Gold trilogy for a more radical point of view that breaks with the normal frameworks found in both Dutch and Indonesian national historical narratives. After their pension many veterans became historians of their own history. It is very rewarding to talk with older veterans for several reasons not only to find a specific personal truth but also to relate that personal truth to a more objectified and factual historical truth as it exists outside the 'soldier'. Analogous to two energies that resonate physically on a higher level. With minimal means history is pictured as a bigger unified field by opposing different positions moving away from the mental borders that exist. Shot as short documentary portraits in such a way that their speech can easily be perceived as interior monologues. This is basically what we tried to achieve with Water of Gold and want to elaborate upon in the next stages, namely parts two and three. Utilizing the same concept in the 2nd part we want to offer a truly international perspective by portraying Japanese, British/Indian, Australian and other veterans that were involved in this war. The 3rd and last part of the trilogy will focus on the fact that in a war the local population is the real victim, as they have to be loyal to the warring parties. A great deal of material has already been shot by our Indonesian colleague on this subject. For a more active sharing we will create an online Water of Gold ‘webdoc’ application that is interactive and can easily be found by history teachers both in Indonesia and the Netherlands. In this web application you are invited to delve into this history making your own selection, crossing borders thematically and giving your own input.

Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Health (VWS) in a program on War Heritage.


Libera Me (2015)

A transnational approach to the colonial war between Indonesia and the Netherlands (1946-49). With personal reflections of some veterans of war from both sides a short circular story is constructed, merging and reconciling both perspectives. We meander between past and present and between two nations that came to be further apart then they allready were.