Social Documentaries

Although there are not many of them, the social documentaries that I have made are memorable, as far as I’m concerned. Among the most beautiful things I have done is filming in the Henriëtte Roland Holst House. With Chris Blokhuis, I spent more than a week in one of the lifts of the home for the elderly in Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer district. The lift moves slowly, just like life. In a lift you meet people; it is the lifeblood of the home. In a lift people talk about the weather, illnesses, recent deaths and anything else that happens in the retirement home. All day long, the residents go up and down. The lift is the meeting point – a good place to watch life go by. I shall never forget the striking occupants of the Henriëtte Roland Holst House.

A second memorable film is one that I made about the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. During the making of the film she received threats and filed a police report. The case exploded in the press.