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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.

See also...


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Bert Haanstra's latest film is joy to watch. A visit to the zoo is made an opportunity for cross-cutting: we switch from animals to humans, from striped dresses to zebras, and we wonder who is ... More »


Without benefit of commentary, Bert Haanstra contrasts the mysterious refinement of the work of men with the uniformity of machines. The approach is light and deft and full of humor, communicating ... More »

Rembrandt, Painter of Men

This film about Rembrandt is made exclusively from his paintings and its purpose is demonstrate how the joys and sorrows influenced his art. ... More »


A 1962 short from Bert Haanstra made from footage he secretly shot of people visiting Amsterdam's Artis Zoo. ... More »

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