Language with a Stranger
Een Taal Met Een Vreemde
NETHERLANDS / 1998 / Dutch/ Color / Video / 97 min
Director: Kees Hin
Photography: Ge Aarts
Editing: Jan Overweg
Sound: Gert Aasman
Producer: Nellie Kamer
P.O. BOX 11, 1200 JC Hilversum
Phone: 31-35-6712252 / Fax: 31-35-6712381
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.
COPYRIGHT:Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Organizing Committee