Logline: Boudewijn de Groot can be seen as the Dutch Bob Dylan, a man that has been famous for 50 years. At the age of 70 he stops playing his greatest hits, he wants something new. His family and friends try to answer the question - who is this man really?
Director: Suzanne Raes
Producer: Docmakers, Fabie Hulsebos
Writer: Suzanne Raes
As ‘fly on the wall’ Suzanne Raes filmed in schools, hospitals and institutions, observing human interaction and analysing social structures. She portrays strong and vulnerable people: Greenpeace pioneers looking back on their life, an illegal housecleaner becoming a photographer. Raes made many documentary films on writers and musicians, and loves to bring stories from the past in a way that is attractive to modern audiences.
The film was produced by the collective of female filmmakers called Docmakers, lead by Fabie Hulsebos.
Made in association with: NTR
Release date: IDFA, 19 November 2015
Where can I watch it? At Melbourne Documentary Film Festival.
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I was asked to make a film about this famous singer who I have known and admired all my life. But meeting him for the first time gave me a huge shock: I have never met someone being so distant, miles away. I decided the film should be a search about who this man is and explain his background.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Music is the most international language, the film about this singer and his work tells something about dutch culture and history. But at the same time this film is an universal tale about fathers and children and the desire to close the gap between them.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
In following Boudewijn during an important year of his life we see him working on a song about his father, who he never really got close to. At the same time Boudewijn's children and friends talk about how Boudewijn always manages to keep a distance from them.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
At first it would be a film about a singer quitting his greatest hits and starting something new. But as I filmed the new song was so much interwoven with his past and so much symbolic for his own relation with the world that the film became much more of an psychological analysis.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
I was very happy with the response of the film. At Idfa many people were in tears or started to talk about the relation with there own father. The film won the audience award for best Music Documentary, and beat some of the best International Music docs made last year.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Boudewijn was a hard character to film, he was very kind and helpful but nothing much happened during filming. It was in the editing, playing with the interviews, archive and scenes that we managed to bring him and his fascinating character to life.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
In Holland everyone knows Boudewijn and has an opinion about him. Therefore it would be very good to see what people think about the film without having this knowledge. It is always interesting to have foreigners look at your film and see if they can overcome the Dutch language. I hope this film still ‘works’ with subtitles and I am really anxious to have the response.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
For my next film I will be in Melbourne to look for traces of Josef Ganz, a car mechanic who lived there between 1950 and 1968. He was a visionary Jewish journalist and designer and dreamed of a car for the people as early as the twenties. He made several prototypes that were revolutionary but than he had to escape Nazi Germany. It was Hitler and Ferdinand Porsche who developed the succesfull Beetle, based on Ganz ideas. Ganz survived the war but had to leave Europe for Australia. It would be good to have contacts or maybe Australian broadcasters to be part of this fascinating film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would be very happy to know it my story ‘works’ for an Australian audience. The selection for the MDFF is already a big compliment.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
I think the conversation will be about transgenerational trauma, history repeating itself. Children going a long way in dealing with or accepting the failures of their parents.
If you enjoyed reading about 'Come Closer' we recommend Aidan Prewett's 'A Venue For The End Of The World', a hilarious expose of politicians, musicians and crowd control which asks 'Was Hitler the original rockstar?' Read here
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you are a filmmaker - we'd love to hear from you. More info: Carmela (firstname.lastname@example.org)