Culturally justified voyeurism

Marloes Tervoort, Sunday, October 20, 2013

Amsterdammers are proud of ‘their’ IDFA which was founded in 1988 in an attempt to ‘give national and international stimulus to the documentary culture’. Pre-sale tickets have to be purchased well in advance but luckily I have a friend that sends me an overview of the must-sees each year so all I have to do is sign-up. My friend then arranges the tickets for these little gems in the programming schedule.

Holland is a land of documentaries. Documentary makers like Michiel van Erp offer a striking and almost voyeuristic look into Dutch culture. Van Erp established himself with documentaries about our national culture like Pretpark Nederland (Amusement park the Netherlands) and Welkom in Nederland (Welcome to the Netherlands). Many well-known Dutch film makers like Johan van der Keuken, John Appel and Renzo Martens became famous through IDFA. There’s also plenty to see for visitors that don’t speak Dutch as a large part of IDFA is reserved for international documentaries.

Luckily, Amsterdam also boasts plenty of arthouse cinema’s that play documentaries throughout the rest of the year. My favourites are Rialto, Kriterion, Studio K and Cinecenter, all theatres with a somewhat alternative, Berlin-like feel.

Since 2012, IDFA has a great new festival location: the EYE Film Institute. This remarkable looking theatre and film museum is a mecca for film buffs all year round. And if you have square eyes and want to escape the darkness, just book yourself a table at the resident restaurant that not only serves great food but also offers a phenomenal view over the city. It is the place to reflect all the stories whilst enjoying the sunset and a good glass of wine.