Dutch filmmaker Aliona is given an inheritance of six square meters of a small, wooden house in a Russian village. She embarks on a journey back into the hidden history of her family that experienced the unimaginable.
Awards Beirut Int Women Filmfestival Best Documentary Award 2019; Femcine9 Megjor Largometraje Internacional, Chile 2019;Golden Calf/DutchOscar 2018; Life Tales Award Int. competition Biografilmfestival, Bologna 2018; Grand Prix Artdocfest Moscow 2017; Dutch Directors Guild Award Documentary 2017; Interreligious Jury Award Intern. comp. Dokleipzig; Honorary Mention Intern. comp. Dokleipzig; Dutch Filmfund Chrystal Film Award for 20.000 audience in Dutch Arthouse Cinema's in 2017.
The Russian poet Boris Ryzhy (1974-2001) was handsome, gifted and achieved already considerable literary fame in his country. He is seen as the voice of the Last Soviet Generation. So why did he take his own life at the age of 26? A quest to find the answer takes the filmmaker to the criminal neighbourhood in the cold industrial city of Yekaterinburg where Boris grew up. What emerges is a penetrating portrait of the Perestroika generation, who lost all purpose, becoming a generation of criminals and bodyguards. But despite all, Ryzhy loved this unhappy world, populated half by prisoners and half by their guards. He tried to transform its ugliness into the philosophers gold of poetic prosody.
Awards: IDFA Best Midlength Documentary Award 2008, Best Feature Documentary Edinburgh Int. Filmfestival 2009, Jury Prize FIFA Montréal 2009, Dutch Filmcritic's Award2009, Dutch Directors Guild Award 2009
Screened at more than 30 filmfestivals, broadcasted by Dutch Public TV, VPRO in 2009
A finely wrought auteurist documentary that combines several complex elements. It is a portrait of a Japanese pianist who is also an innovative visual artist. And it is a meditation of fecundity, childbirth and the experience of menstruation: a courageous approach to a subject that remains a taboo in many cultures. It is explored with an elegance and sophistication that deepens our understanding of the relationship between body and mind and a mature and forgiving meditation on the great unanswerable questions.
An ode to the indefatigable life-force embodied by the people of this Iranian town. The film is inspired by photographs that were recovered from the town's debris...the only tangible mementoes left of life before the massive earthquake that killed almost a third of the population. Like a ghost, the camera drifts through the town, recording the everyday events of it’s inhabitants and picking up the intimate, inner conversations they have with their dear departed. In doing so, the film also touches upon the relationship between men and women in Iran and their relationship to God.
CO- DIRECTED WITH MAASJA OOMS
With an eye like late Dutch doc artist Johan van der Keuken and a haunting mood like the opening of Wim Wenders's Wings of Desire, Voices of Bam is smart, emotional, thoughtfully crafted and reveals the culture in a profound way JENNIE PUNTER Friday, April 28, 2006 , Special to The Globe and Mail /HOTDOCS
"A delicate and incredibly human film" www.eyeforfilm.co.uk
"...a beautiful and profoundly sad account...",(Filmkrant) "...a precious account about grief, mourning and survival...of an almost magical quality" ..." (Skrien)
As much as the sight of disasters repels us, we often find it difficult to avert our eyes. But it is hard not to be frustrated and a little nauseated by the standard reporting method of sticking cameras and microphones into the faces of bruised and dazed survivors while repeating the pointless question: "How did it feel?" Voices of Bam offers a completely different portrayal of disaster-one far more sensitive than mere reportage-as it accords its subjects enormous dignity while giving them an opportunity to express themselves with a rare, simple eloquence. The powerful earthquake that struck the ancient city of Bam in southeastern Iran on December 26, 2003, killed over 43,000 people, injured 20,000, and left 60,000 inhabitants homeless. Much of the city, including a 2,000-year-old mud-brick citadel that was universally revered as one of the world's architectural heritage sites, was completely leveled. Inspired by snapshots uncovered in the rubble-which are the only remaining tangible reminders of life before the quake-the filmmakers almost seem to be overhearing the city's inhabitants, who try to go on with their lives one year later. The film thus speaks volumes about the relationship between men and women in Iran, and about their relationship to God. The grief and guilt expressed by the survivors strike a universal chord, and the indomitable life force they embody is unforgettable. TIME MAGAZINE, May 6, 2006
Awards Prix du Jury Interreligieux Visions du Reel Nyon 2006; Special Jury Award Tribeca Int. Film Festival New York 2006; Best Feature Documentary Dokufest Kosovo 2006; Special Mention Amnesty Award Copenhagen Dox 2006;Best Documentary Int. Filmfestival Bucharest Romania 2007; Best Sound design nomination Dutch Filmfestival 2006
FESTIVALS Int. Film Festival Rotterdam 2006; Hot Docs Toronto Canada 2006; Green Filmfestival Seoul, Korea 2006; Dokfest Madrid 2006; Israel Womans Filmfestival 2006; Batumi Int. Filmfestival Georgia 2006; Frankfurt int. Filmfestival Germany 2006; Docupolis festival Barcelona Spain; Message to Man Filmfestival St. Petersburg 2006; Netherlands Filmfestival Utrecht 2006; Baja California Filmfestival USA 2006; Milwaukee Int. Filmfestival USA 2006; Edinburgh int filmfestival 2006; Dok Leipzig 2006; Calgary Int. Filmfestival Canada 2006; Tempo Int. Docfestival Stockholm Sweden 2006; Documentary Workshop Reykjavik Iceland 2007; Int. Filmfestival Tessaloniki Greece 2007; It’s All True Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2007; Melbourne Int. Film Festival 2007; Argentina filmfestival 2007
A short, almost wordless portrait of artist Folkert de Jong.
Folker de Jong is best known for his theatrical, narrative tableaux that address themes of war, greed and power. “When I watch the news or follow the world by the media,” de Jong stated in conversation with critic Steven Cox in 2013, “I can’t believe what I am hearing and seeing, it seems like a déjà vu, something is repeating itself.” A sense of tragedy and absurdity, a comically desperate psychological state, permeates his work, particularly through the sculptural material for which de Jong became known: industrial Styrofoam and Polyurethane insulation foams. In the decade since, he has been an influential force for a new generation of artists.
Mutanten, zombies, monsters, maniakken, schedels, geweren, skeletten: het universum van Folkert de Jong (Alkmaar, 1972) is duister, morbide en absurdistisch. In de sculpturen die hij maakt, verwijst hij zowel naar de geschiedenis en beeldhouwkundige traditie als naar thema’s uit de popcultuur zoals horror, stripverhalen en fantasy. In tegenstelling tot klassieke materialen als brons en marmer werkt De Jong met alledaagse materialen als styrofoam en purschuim. Materialen die eveneens bepalend zijn voor De Jongs kenmerkende kleurgebruik: babyblauw, de kleur van styrofoam, en vuil geel, de kleur van purschuim.
This film is as much about the people who work in Russia's renowned museum as it is about the glorious art works housed in this St. Petersburg institution. For these workers the Hermitage has been a safe haven from the tumultuous events of Russian history and the hardships of contemporary Russian life. Indeed, each of them explains how their personal traumas and difficulties have been transformed by having developed an intimate relationship with a favorite piece of art. For them, surrounded everyday by remarkable beauty, the Hermitage has become a place of emotional healing.
"As the documentary progresses, we begin to get the sensation that this is truly a drama about people and the passage of time, and not so much about art. Yet it is about the museum, as much as this reflects the emotional and spiritual condition of the people to whom we are introduced. Highly original in scope, The Hermitage Dwellers takes us on a journey of a country that has been victimized by dictatorship and buoyed by the spirit of its people."—Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History, and Science
“Besides being a superlative movie and indeed a work of art in itself, this film is ideal for teaching anthropology, ethnography and ethnographic method."—Anthropology Review Database
"A Must-See! Offers a fond (and often moving) glimpse behind the scenes at Russia's fabled Hermitage Museum."—Entertainment Weekly
"What a powerful film this is! I can't recommend it highly enough."—Leonardo Reviews
AWARDS: 2007 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference; Grand Prize, 2006 Montreal Festival of Films on Art; Winner, Best Cultural Program, Dutch Academy Awards (2003)
“If there is no hurry any time is just as useful” (Gertude Stein)
The ultimate portrait of an artist, with hilarious moments. One of the best documentaries of IDFA 2013’ J.P. Ekker, Dutch Filmcritic
“Understanding something is overrated, we better take not-understanding as a starting point to have a relationship with the things around us.”
Suchan Kinochita is is an internationally well-known Dutch artist with German and Japanese roots. The filmmaker makes ’15 attempts’ to make a film about her art. Every attempt is a playful scene situated in the EU Capital of Brussels. Unpredictable and daring.
Suchan Kinoshita in a film by Aliona van der Horst; camera/editing with Maasja Ooms, sound Rik Meier, produced by De Familie, broadcasted by HUMAN
15 ATTEMPTS teaser
AFTER THE SPRING OF '68
After the spring of '68 is a film about falling in love across a political, cultural and geographic divide. It tells of Simon, a Dutch student in Moscow, who meets and marries the Russian Zoya in the spring of 1968. Simon returns to the Netherlands, expecting his wife to follow shortly afterwards But then the Prague Spring ends with the brutal Soviet Invasion and this historical tragedy is in some unexpected way connected with Zoya’s fate. Director Aliona van der Horst relates her parents' struggle in this tender account of family history caught up in international politics.
Dutch Academy Award Best TV Documentary 2001.
After the Spring of '68
Installation on six screens about the interaction between a mother and a daughter.
“It started as an idea about the disappearing language and voice of my mother, who was diagnosed with a progressive neurological illness. But the illness progressed so fast that she soon lost her ability to speak before I even could start this project. All her power to communicate resided now in her right hand, the only part of her body she was still able to move. It was her only way to communicate with the world. So our hands communicate. It is a searching, confusing but beautiful and loving communication. Sometimes her hand reminds me of an old turtle.
Don't Shoot the Messenger tells the story of the Occupy Amsterdam movement through the eyes of four individuals, united by the same goal: to make a change in the world they are living in. They are filmed during and after the protests.
Don't Shoot the Messenger is a collaborative film about the occupy movement in the Netherlands. Made by five documentary directors. Broadcasted by Dutch Public TV NCRV in 2013
Art historican Parisa Damandan rescued the pictures from the rubbles of Bam after the devastating earthquake of December 26 2003. Tens of thousands of photos of families, weddings, gatherings were rescued to be returned to the survivors of the earthquake. 'For 'voices of Bam' I asked people of Bam to talk to the pictures of their loved lost ons, a practice which is far more common in Iran than it is in Europe. Their monologues were so powerful, I contemplated to make a 'black film', only using their voices and subtitles on a black screen. When asked to contribute to the photofestival of Naarden I finally made this film, which was shown in a container accompanied by pictures rescued by Parisa Damandan.
“In de ruimte van de Iraanse fotografe en kunsthistorica Parisa Damandan zijn officiële portretten en familiekiekjes te zien van Iraniërs. Uit de begeleidende tekst blijkt dat de foto’s het enige is dat er van deze mensen overbleef: bij een aardbeving op Tweede Kerstdag 2003 stierf de helft van de bevolking van de Iraanse stad Bam, deze foto’s gingen niet verloren. Damandan kwam drie dagen na de ramp in de stad om te helpen. Ze concludeerde dat ze het best kon helpen met datgene waar ze goed in is: het veiligstellen, restaureren en publiceren van de foto’s die begraven lagen onder het puin. Op de plek waar eerst grote fotowinkels waren geweest, begon ze te graven, op zoek naar oud, soms nog niet ontwikkeld filmmateriaal, waarop een momentopname van het leven van de stad net voor de ramp was vastgelegd. Inmiddels heeft Damandan zo’n tienduizend foto’s verzameld en probeert ze de overlevenden de foto’s van hun familieleden terug te geven.
In de ruimte naast de foto’s uit Bam is een film te zien met bijna alleen maar tekst: documentairemaakster Aliona van der Horst nodigde de inwoners van Bam uit om in haar hotelkamer tegen de foto’s te gaan praten. Van der Horst hoorde van het fotoproject van Paradan en zocht haar een jaar na de aardbeving op. Ze zag hoeveel invloed foto’s hadden op het straatbeeld: overal waren afbeeldingen van vermiste of overleden dierbaren te zien, de kapper bekende haar hele gesprekken te voeren met de foto van zijn omgekomen dochter. In de film zie je eerst de foto die de mensen meenamen, kiekjes zoals Damandan verzamelt. Dan komen de verhalen, vaak gefluisterd, in het Perzisch, met niets anders dan de vertaling in beeld. De achterblijvers vertellen de overledene over hun dagelijkse zorgen, delen hun goede herinneringen en praten over het gemis. Je kijkt mee naar de beelden in de hoofden van de overlevenden. Dichterbij kun je haast niet komen.”
Documentary about the abuse of psychiatry for political purposes in the former Soviet Union. Hanna Michailenko, an Ukrainian schoolteacher from Odessa was locked up in a psychiatric ward from 1980 until 1988 for refusing to work for the Soviet Secret Service, the KGB.
Graduation film at the Dutch Film Academy 1997,47 minutes, broadcasted on Dutch Public TV, NCRV Document
Awards: Dutch Student 'Tuschinski' Award; Silver Spire Award Golden Gate San Fransisco; Student Award International Documentary Association USA