In memoriam: Alexander Litvinenko / Before the flood / Brooklyn Stories / Nor his donkey / Nagasaki Stories
In Memoriam: Alexander Litvinenko
Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the Russian Intelligence Agency FSB, lived in exile in Britain, supposedly under the protection of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, when he suffered a lingering death at the age of 44 after being poisoned with the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in November 2006. Two years before his death, Litvinenko spoke at length with De Putter and foretold his fate. After Litvinenko's death, Jos de Putter interviewed his close friends and widow. The result is a stunning and frightening portrait of a man who apparently knew too much.
"The encounter with Alexander Litvinenko was one of the strangest I had. Litvinenko told me about his life in the Russian secret service and how he became convinced that Putin was behind the mysterious attacks on Russian apartment buildings in the 1990s. He gave me a signed copy of his book. He also predicted his own death, which occurred two years after our meeting. He was poisoned with polonium..."
Before the flood
The documentary begins with spectacular sfx-footage of how water swallows The Netherlands. In Before the flood it is soon clear that fiction is rapidly becoming reality. Renowned Dutch actor Pierre Bokma coolly plays a man who as a boy was home alone with his baby brother during the flood disaster in Zeeland. The men of the Schieland and Krimpenerwaard polder board anxiously keep an eye on the water levels in the polders and a Dutch scientist explains how he, inspired by the warnings in Revelations, made wind analyses and concluded that in the near future Europe will be facing life-threatening super storms. The saddening scenarios are intercut with poetical and terrifying archive footage that bears witness to the destructive power of the water: from crumbling polar caps to churning floods that wash away everything that lives.
A documentary about ‘loosers’ and the poetry of loss. Former fans of the legendary baseball-team The Brooklyn Dodgers remember the history of their team, that always lost in the very last moment. The fans are a former trumpet player, a dock worker, a tramp... Through their stories full of love, wonder, hope and loss they evoke the famous Ebbets Field, that becomes a mental space we all share.
Nor his donkey
Nor his donkey is the last part in a tv documentary-series about the Ten Commandments. In the Pyrenees, France, a donkey is on its way from the top of the mountain to the valley to do the shopping for a sheperd who is obliged to stay with his herd. On his way, the donkey leads us along three stories related to 'covetness' (i.e. the Tenth Commandment):
1: Two weeks after the death of her husband, a widow receives a love-letter of a man she refused to marry forty-five years before and never saw again.
2: In London, a personal shopping assistant in a fancy warehouse develops a shopping addiction and commits suicide after being discovered.
3: In Toronto, the annual meeting of the Mars Society is held. Plans are discussed for the future colonization of the Red Planet.
Working in the Pyrenées in the summer of 2000, with the main character: the donkey Totor
Fifty years after the atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 'Nagasaki Stories' seeks the personal and reveals the private recollections of some of Nagasaki's inhabitants, who survived the bomb.
We meet Mr. Kyushiro Kusakabe, a former reporter who lost his mother and wife, and who now, 50 years after the catastrophe, is travelling from Tokyo to Nagasaki, together with his sister-in-law. They speak about their memories of everyday life in prewar multi-cultural Nagasaki. By the time the two travellers reach Nagasaki we have come to know a municipal civil servant who tried unsuccesfully to map the area that had been ruined during the war, a former kamikaze pilot awaiting his death in a hospital, two sisters whose father had been a kimono tailor who went bankrupt when the war changed clothing habits, and a photographer who started his career the moment the A-bomb destroyed his hometown.
Their stories are balanced by home movie fragments which never literally illustrate yet do comment on, and sometimes poetically colour, the memories they speak of.
A way to B
See no evil
Solo; out of a dream
Beyond the game
How many roads
Alias Kurban Saïd
Dans, Grozny dans
The making of a new empire
Solo; the law of the Favela
Het is een schone dag geweest
I.M: Alexander Litvinenko