Review: Voorland (2006)


Directed by: Albert Elings, Eugenie Jansen | 70 minutes | documentary

A collision of images, and the truth as it can only be unearthed by the camera. A beautiful film that deserves the golden calf, “Trouw says. The NRC Handelsblad calls the documentary unparalleledly beautiful. In each shot there is room for a universe of thoughts and associations. Voorland is a documentary about the floodplain, which many people have been waiting for.

For seven years, directors Albert Elings and Eugenie Jansen filmed in De Loowaard, a floodplain on the Nederrijn near Duiven. And the result is impressive, but it is different than expected. No peace and quiet, clear images and blooming flowers. Foreland is not only about nature, but also about people. Farmers fear the proliferation of thistles, they camp in protest against the Betuwe line and cows are given a yellow ear tag. A horse looks up in horror at the motocross rider who comes racing past with a lot of noise. A nice message. Looking at these images it becomes clear how beautiful nature is and how ugly and nonsensical the actions of man in it are. A great contrast. Nature is calm, quiet and colorful. The people mainly make a lot of noise.

Much of the film is about water. People who live in or visit the area a lot have to learn to live with the many floods. It always has been and always will be. The river controls the flood plains. During the floods, signs can no longer be found and the road is not accessible. Elings and Jansen want to show the constant change in nature. All seasons are covered and it becomes clear that people want to give nature space again. De Loowaard must become a nature reserve again, where no people live. That is why the farmer leaving his house is filmed for minutes. That process is well documented, but it is a pity that the results are not clear. Is the Loowaard really such a rough area? Or has only the first step been taken?

The documentary is very pure. No words and no music. Only the sounds that can be heard in nature and the occasional comment from a passerby. The different images often have nothing to do with each other, which is precisely the strength of the film. All kinds of observations are pasted together, giving the viewer a complete picture of the Loowaard.

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