A Language with a Stranger
Een Taal Met Een Vreemde

THE NETHERLANDS / 1998 / Dutch/ Color / Video / 97 min

Kees Hin
Photography: Ge Aarts
Editing: Jan Overweg
Sound: Gert Aasman
Producer: Nellie Kamer
Source: VPRO-television
P.O. BOX 11, 1200 JC Hilversum
Phone: 31-35-6712252 / Fax: 31-35-6712381

Kees Hin

Born in 1936 in Amsterdam. Made his first documentary in 1965 after serving as assistant director to documentarist Bert Haanstra. Has often made films for the Dutch Ministry of Culture and Dutch television. His filmography includes more than 80 documentaries on such varied subjects as the lives of great musicians, artists and poets, the Dutch Resistance during World War II, and several films on themes related to the Holocaust.

This film about people suffering from schizophrenia gives rise to a deep, satisfying feeling. Using video imagery devoid of artificiality and premeditation along with an unpretentious score and soundtrack, the film creates an intimate, natural space imbued with the passage of time. This environment foregrounds effectively the uniquely different characters of each of the schizophrenia - sufferers who appear in the film. As a result, these people who live in fear of (or who treat as normal) the auditory and visual hallucinations that surround them come to look more and more like neighbors, like friends, even like oneself.
The production takes pains to avoid a psychiatric, psychological, or academic perspective that would objectify, define, and ultimately belittle schizophrenics. In this sense, the words of a father who appears near the end of the film - his schizophrenic son thinks of him as a step - father - are both striking and bring one close to tears. And it is his son who confounds (delights?) the director when he says with full confidence, "I'm the star of this movie, right?" But then, it is he who also gives the film its title.
[Fukushima Yukio]

COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee