Oeke Hoogendijk: Housewitz

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.

Netherlands, 2021, 71 mins.
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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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