5 Walks – Hercynia Silva, 2008, 35mm, 15'
The horror and grandeur of the last remnants of Northern European primary forest conjure up a history of hunting, fleeing and meetings with magical creatures. The first part of a series of films on the cultural meaning of landscape. Filmed in Bialowieza, the last European primary forest on the Polish/White Russian border. (First prize Asolo Art Film Festival 2008)
"In the northern region is the vast expanse of the Hercynian forest, untouched by the ages and coeval with the world, which surpasses all marvels by its almost immortal destiny." (Pliny, ‘Natural History’ 23-79 AD)
The forest itself is not threatening, mysterious, resplendent or idyllic. We are the ones that fill it with meaning using stories and images. Culture annexes nature by animating it. Forest histories differ little from country to country and era to era. They are always stories about wandering, hunting, meetings with magical creatures, fertility cults and tree worship whereby desecration of the tree can only be put right with a sacrifice. He who knows nature's laws will see wonderful places whilst roaming the forest. Those that don't belong, will become hopelessly lost.
It is conspicuous how resilient landscape myths are. While the primeval forests dwindle away - only a few dozen square kilometres remain in Europe - the myth of the wild forest seems to have adapted itself. Motorways are our new forest paths with neon signs as the ignis fatus and drivers on the wrong side of the road as its fauns. The speed and strength of machines have taken the place of the wild beast. The chaos of the primeval forest and society's order are two sides of the same leaf.
Winner 'Premio Asolo Best Harmony and Territory Film' Asolo Art Film Festival 2009
Nomination Tiger Shorts competition, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008
International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008 (world premiere), Courtisane Gent 2008, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen 2008, 'Filmmuseum Experimenteel' Amsterdam 2008, Hamburg International Short Film Festival 2008, Antimatter Festival Victoria 2008, 25FPS Festival Zagreb 2008, Nederlands Film Festival Utrecht 2008, Corona Cork Film Festival 2008, The International Experimental Film Festival Denver 2008, Global Compact Film Festival Poznan 2008, Aurora UK 2008, Languedoc Cinema Montpellier 2008, Media Art Friesland 2008, Lux Nijmegen 2008, Verkadefabriek Den Bosch 2008, TIE Colorado 2008, Antimatter Festival Victoria 2008, O&O Balie Amsterdam 2008, Asolo Art Film Festival 2009, D21 Leipzig 2009, Istanbul Film Festival 2009, Filmlab, Roemenië 2009 (IFFR programme), Filmbanktour Cinema de Balie Amsterdam, Filmhuis Den Haag, Filmhuis Lumen Delft, ‘t Hoogt Utrecht 2009, Votiv Cinema Vienna, 2010, Video Re:view festival Katovice 2011, Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival 2011, Video Re:view festival, Katovice, Polen 2011, PAFID Patagonia 2013 and 10 filmtheaters in the Netherlands.