Cinema Olanda Film [2017]

short film in architecture
17 min.

Maria van Enckevort Cijntje
Mitchell Esajas
Patricia Kaersenhout
Lizzy van Leeuwen
Hanneke Oosterhof
Lode Simons
Remy Sonneville
Ian Rijnders
Leon Jansen
Lina Campanella
Loveth Besamoh
Lyana Usa

Smina Bluth

Titus Marderlechner

filmed on location
St. Bavo Church, Rotterdam, Pendrecht

produced by
Schuldenberg Films ︎

comissioned by
Mondriaan Fund
for the Dutch Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale ︎

Shot in a singular uncut sequence, Cinema Olanda Film (2017) attempts to connect an architectural location, a number of individuals, and past and present events through a momentary filmic reality. Situated in one of the Netherlands’ exemplary modernist postwar districts designed by the Bauhaus trained, CIAM related Lotte Stam-Beese, who became one of Rotterdam’s main urban planners in the 1950s, the film alludes to the presence of multiple alternative voices behind the screen of Dutch postwar society that was reimagining itself as a uniform modern State. Filmed in a single day, the connotations of an all-seeing image are undermined by the live production of script and music, in which a contemporary cast of individuals with a personal or professional relationship to the questions raised, relates to various internationally significant stories, which attest to a far less uniform period than is generally remembered. References range from figures like the Dutch Caribbean revolutionary Otto Huiswoud, who played an important role worldwide in race, class, and anti-imperial issues in the first half of the twentieth century and from his base in Amsterdam in the 1950s formed an impressive link with Black intellectual, political, and cultural life in Paris, London, and New York, to the popular 1950s Indo-rock music associated with the massive post-Independence immigration from Indonesia.

Production stills by Daria Scagliola 


Dialogues and appearances by:
Maria van Enckevort Cijntje, historian and author of The Life and Work of Otto Huiswoud: Professional Revolutionary and Internationalist (1893 – 1961). She was, until recently, Dean of the University of St. Martin. Author of social studies publications for schools in St. Martin for over 30 years.

Mitchell Esajas, co-founder and chair of New Urban Collective, a social enterprise with the mission to strengthen the socio-economic position of youths with a migrant background, which also organises the Black Archives that houses Otto Huiswoud’s personal archive.

Patricia Kaersenhout, visual artist and cultural activist. Her work investigates the fact of invisibility as a condition of the African Diaspora and its relation to the history of slavery, racism, feminism and sexuality.

Lizzy van Leeuwen, cultural anthropologist, writer who regularly publishes critical articles in the national Dutch press. Published Airconditioned Lifestyles, Nieuwe rijken in Jakarta in 2011 and the biography of the Javanese-Dutch dancer Indra Kamadjojo 2019.

Hanneke Oosterhof, cultural historian specialized in the fields of social history and women’s history. She is the biographer of the Bauhaus educated German/Dutch urban-planning architect Lotte Stam-Beese (1903-1988).  

Lode Simons and Remy Sonneville, two contemporary Indorock guitarists. Lode Simons has played in well-known indorock bands in the Netherlands since age thirteen. Taught by famous Indo artists like Eddy Chatelin and Harry Koster, his band has also performed with legendary musicians like Andy Tielman. Remy Sonneville is a free lance guitarist in whose family dance and music from the Indonesian Islands and elsewhere were performed by all generations and genders.

The band Addiction wrote their song “Labels” especially for the film shoot: Ian Rijnders (drums), Leon Jansen (bass guitar), Lina Campanella (singer), Loveth Besamoh (songwriter and rhythm guitar) and Lyana Usa (lead guitar) were all 17 years old when the film was shot.

Also appearing are a group of people from the various communities of the St Bavo Church, Pendrecht.