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DEPARTURE BAY   Jacqueline Heerema  

 

The sea gives and the sea takes. Everyone living with the sea knows that. The Zeeuwen also in February 1953, when the water took over their land. As well as the father of Aram Tanis, who, as an eight-year-old boy, experienced the flood disaster.

 

In the documentary Departure Bay, created by Aram Tanis and Jacolijn Verhoef, the father talks about those fateful days. The memories complete the 'Big Story' of the flood disaster, as we know from the history books, with small scenes from everyday life. Such as cycling along the dykes, while the water was so high it was impossible to move forward; the filling of sandbags with his father; the disinfection of corps carriers and throwing snowballs with soldiers.

 

The father is filmed in a long close-up. The only additions are photos of the flood disaster, in which the water moves in further, still images. In this way the viewer gets a little bit closer to life as it was in February 1953. And that is special. Because no one spoke about what had happened afterwards. That makes the retrieval of memories not easier for the father. In one of the first minutes of the documentary he tries to keep his emotions in check. The vulnerability of that moment and that you are a witness to it has a touching effect. The respect of Verhoef and Tanis to the material testifies to their integrity. It ensures the emphasis is on the story.

 

Departure Bay has been exhibited among others at Siemens Sanat (Istanbul / TR), Watersnoodmuseum (Ouwerkerk / NL), Nida Art Colony (Vilnius / LT), International Filmfestival Cine al Mar (Sante Marta / CO), Mediamatic (Amsterdam / NL), North Sea Conference (The Hague / NL), RAM Foundation (Rotterdam / NL), TodaysArt 2014 (Scheveningen / NL), Badgast (Scheveningen / NL), The Commons (The Hague / NL),  Rewire Festival (The Hague / NL), Satellietgroep (Batumi / GE) and 37pk / Generation Why (Haarlem / NL).