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THE VOICE OF THE WATER

Netherlands, 1966 (MIFF 1969, Programme 29)

Director: Bert Haanstra

This is a film about the Dutch and their long turbulent marriage with the sea. She has brought pleasure and pain, sport and tragedy. The Dutchman accepts her on her own capricious terms, a friend already judged, an adversary already measured. He is ready to withstand her assaults, but equally ready to taste her joys. Water in summer and sailing; water in winter and skating. Water quiescent in the rapture of dawn: water grey, ferocious ... a North Sea trawler struggles for its catch. . . .

Bert Haanslra's films are resolutely and authentically evocative of Dutch life. Few directors have shown such dedicated admiration for human skills. He interprets his country's involvement with its seas and its canals, but in doing so he reaches deeply into sentiments by no means confined to the Netherlands.

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