Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vincent Monnikendam

Vincent Monnikendam's 1995 documentary Moeder Dao, de schildpadgelijkende (Mother Dao, The Turtlelike) is an unexpectedly lyrical and panoramic compilation of early 20th-century footage of Indonesia (at that time, it was a Dutch colony). Although the material is from Dutch films that trumpet industrialization and development, the viewer perceives only exploitation of resources and slavery-like working conditions. The film's structure and themes make the point that there were no positive aspects of colonialism for the people in Indonesia. A missionary, for example, participates in the system of colonial rule (top still). Monnikendam's soundtrack uses textures of found audio and Indonesian ballads to comment on the images; the film has no interviews.
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.