Netherlands 2021
71 minutes
directed by: Oeke Hoogendijk

One of the best European authors, Oeke Hoogendijk, whose three masterful films on art seen from unexpected and exciting angles we saw at "The Magnificent Seven", this time turns to a very personal subject in a Kammerspiel style to create one of her most interesting works.

This is a film about the author's mother, but also about long journeys on virtual trains that look like a dream and a nightmare, which combine calmness and unending suffering. During the filming, the mother suddenly said that the camera was too intrusive for her and that the film could only be shot with a web camera, with a great comment of a documentary filmmaker - "It will give you a true picture!" Thus, in a combination of different views, this portrait of a charismatic woman is created, most often alone with a cat in her apartment, trapped for years by agoraphobia. Ranging from black comedy and unusual film of independent production, to studious close-ups and shots of the television screen set as a specific leitmotif of the film, we discover a lively and dynamic personality, sensitive, intelligent, witty and self-contained. Her dialogue with the world is always intense and often ironic or self-ironic, whether she is talking to her daughter or commenting on a television program or on herself, sometimes with wittily worded curses. With a lot of emotions, we also discover her past, when as a young Jewish woman she went through the horrors of the Holocaust. In an exciting way, the present and the past which never passes, come together in front of us. This woman with an inquisitive spirit, although closed, constantly travels the world thanks to television, staring at dreamlike images of trains and rails, dynamic visual symbols of movement, but also sinister associative images of the Holocaust.

An exceptional achievement in which the universal and the personal intertwine in a unique way, building a metaphor about suffering within the invisible wires of "Auschwitz" in one's own house.

Oeke Hoogendijk

Born on 5th August, 1961 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Studied at the Academy of Arts in Utrecht, where she graduated in theater direction (1990). Directed theater performances from 1990 to 1996 with numerous theater companies. In 1997, she studied television documentary film at the Media Academy and worked as a director for VPRO television program. In 1998, she directed, together with Paul Cohen, the documentary film "Happy Time" (Een Gelukkike Tijd) which received the award of the Dutch Film Academy and the "Euro-Comenius" award (Vienna). Later she specializes in films on the world of art. For ten years, she followed the epic renovation of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and made a world-famous and award-winning documentary about it, as well as the film about the discovery of a previously unknown Rembrandt painting in 2019.

Selected filmography

  • A HAPPY TIME (Een gelukkige tijd), 1998, with Paul Cohen
  • THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM (Het nieuwe Rijksmuseum), 2008
  • THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM – FILM (Het nieuwe Rijksmuseum – De Film), 2014
  • MARTEN & OOPJEN: PORTRAIT OF A MARIAGE (Marten & Oopjen: Portret van een huwelijk), 2019
  • MY REMBRANT (Mijn Rembrandt), 2019
  • HOUSEWITZ, 2021
  • THE TREASURES OF CRIMEA (De Schatten van de Krim), 2021
  • LICHT, 2022