HUMAN / NPO
Filmmakers from all over the world send a personal video letter about how an important global development lands in their everyday reality, about courage, resilience, and how to resist the ever-looming feeling of powerlessness.
Jos de Putter about the video letters:
It has two elements: it is a personal story, and on the other hand, the theme is urgent. What is told next is what matters to the creator or the main character, something that has a direct impact on their existence. It should be immediately recognizable to the viewer and is often related to urgent themes or even direct news.
In television and cinema in particular, you have the space and time to be taken along. That experience is different when watching online. On the internet, you have to be spoken to more directly in order to be taken along. The viewer must be addressed directly by the maker or the main character in the first person singular. You could call the genre a video letter or a video diary."
Click on the pictures below to watch the documentaries online:
Niet mijn Moskou
Video letter in which the Dutch-Russian documentary maker Masha Novikova reports on the radical changes in Russia and Moscow during the month she recently spent there.
Life from Akram's perspective. He no longer has a lower body, he bravely crosses through Sanaa, Yemen. Then his big dream comes true: he gets married.
The maker of Sad Film takes part in the demonstrations against the military dictatorship in Myanmar, in a mask.
To protect the safety of the anonymous filmmaker, this film cannot be viewed online.
De buurtkoelkasten van New York
During the lockdown, dozens of neighborhood refrigerators suddenly appeared in the streets of New York. Neighbors and shopkeepers put in what they have left over. It symbolizes the resilience of New Yorkers.
After 20 years, the West withdraws troops from Afghanistan, where the first drone war was waged. What does such a remote war look like?
Winter in Moskou
Marina Litvinovich visits protesters imprisoned after the arrest of Alexei Navalny and reports online.
Brief aan de koning
Sixty years after the assassination, Lumumba's daughter Juliana addresses the Belgian king, will Belgium return the tooth to Congo?
Cartoonist op de Vlucht
After far-right President Bolsonaro took office in January, Leonardo, a political cartoonist for Extra, a popular newspaper in Brazil, was fired for 30 years.
Portlands Brandend Hart
Portland's Black Lives Matter protest began peacefully, but after the arrival of federal troops, the city spiraled into violence in the months that followed.
Fadi neemt de Weg terug
Fadi hoped to be reunited with his wife and young children within a year of his flight from Syria, but due to the increasingly strict regulations in Germany, this is not yet in sight.
De Stem van Idlib
Twenty-year-old Abu Rakan fights against the Assad regime in Idlib.
God geeft geen Geld
It was the heaviest non-nuclear explosion ever, destroying large parts of Beirut on August 4, 2020. Now, more than eight months later, the affected neighborhoods lie in ruins unchanged.
De Beschermengel van Edward Snowden
When Edward Snowden had to flee after his shocking revelations about the US intelligence services in 2013, he found an unexpected refuge: with Asian asylum seekers in Hong Kong.
Bei Ling fears that dictatorial China will soon suffocate democratic Taiwan. Strolling through the streets of Tapei, the poet and publisher longs to return to his hometown of Beijng, where he is no longer welcome.
Fijn Weekend in Wuhan
Xu lives in a city that the whole world knows: Wuhan. The city was the epicenter of the corona outbreak. After three months of lockdown, she was allowed to return to work.
Paradijs in Vlammen
Filmmakers Kel O'Neill and Eline Jongsma live with their two young children near Butte County, California. In November 2018, the largest fire in recent American history raged here.
Leven zonder Water
At the beginning of 2018, the city council of Cape Town, South Africa, came up with alarming news. We are approaching the day when the city of four million inhabitants 'falls dry'.
Scientists Jeanne Loring and Oliver Ryder are investigating how to use stem cell technology to bring 'new animals' to life from animal skin cells that were frozen long ago.
Brief aan de President
A new generation has had it with the old rulers in Uganda. The wildly popular politician and musician Bobi Wine is in opposition at the risk of his own life.
Trapped in the City of a Thousand Mountains
In the Chinese city of Chongqing, rappers are trying to figure out what is and isn't possible now that new censorship has been issued that prohibits any form of improvisation.
De Roze Riksja
In the metropolis of Lahore, pink rickshaws move nimbly through the total chaos of traffic. They are part of the Pink Rickshaw, founded by and for women, intended to let them earn their own money and thereby become more independent.
De Stille Epidemie
Fentanyl has caused a silent epidemic in the United States in recent years. Coroner Lakshmi Kode Sammarco sees how the rise in drug deaths from the painkiller has touched her community's heart.
Coronakoerier in New York
Bahar Baharlu (28) from New York of Iranian descent volunteers to cycle through the empty streets of New York to bring groceries to people in corona quarantine.
Brief aan de paus
A group of deaf people of all ages traveled to the Vatican in late February 2019. They have all been students of the Provolo Institute for deaf children in Verona, run by nuns and priests.
De onvoltooide Ierse opstand
Recently, a bomb exploded in Londonderry for the first time in years. Directors Oisín Kearney and Loretta van der Horst follow 21-year-old activist Jude Macrory, who was lifted from his bed during the making of the film and held on suspicion of complicity in the attack.
Angelo en de bommen
Sardinian Angelo Cremone discovers that the bombs used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen were made in his own village. He goes to battle against the weapons factory on his own.
Terug naar af
In 2013, after four years of crisis, two disillusioned sisters return from Athens to their homeland near Kalamata to become olive farmers. Their newly built existence is now wavering again.
Theater maker Alaa Shehada returns to Jenin and helps his old friend, an unemployed actor and in a deep depression, pick up the thread again. "Why cry when you can joke?"
Nieuwe grenzen, oude wonden
Documentary filmmaker Oisin Kearney grew up in a town on the border of Northern Ireland with Ireland. With the threat of a new hard border due to Brexit, there is fear of a return of violence.
From 2007 to 2013, I served as the final editor for Tegenlicht. I developed the profile 'future affairs' to keep the program at an attractive time slot, airing at 9 pm. I also continued to produce programs for Tegenlicht. In memoriam Aleksandr Litvinenko (2007) was especially noteworthy, as after the notorious poisoning death of the former secret service officer, I was the only one to whom he had told his story and predicted his death. Below is a list of the thirty documentaries that I made for Tegenlicht.
Van 2007 tot 2013 was ik eindredacteur van Tegenlicht. Ik bedacht het profiel ‘future affairs’ om het programma te kunnen behouden op een aantrekkelijk tijdstip: om 9 uur ’s avonds. Ik bleef zelf ook programma’s maken voor Tegenlicht. In memoriam Aleksandr Litvinenko (2007) was bijzonder, omdat ik na de geruchtmakende vergiftigingsdood van de voormalige geheime dienst officier de enige bleek aan wie hij zijn verhaal had verteld en zijn dood had voorspeld.
Klik op onderstaande foto's om de documentaires online te bekijken:
Wachten op Yevgeni Morozov
Ontmoeting met Andrej Wajda
WORKING FOR TELEVISION
Jos de Putter says about his television work:
"After my first two documentaries, I was asked in 1994 to come work for the renowned VPRO foreign program Diogenes. Diogenes. was led by journalist Jan Blokker, a living legend. The series was shot on film, which greatly enhanced the concentration during the shooting process (with 16 rolls of film) and editing (you could only make one cut because otherwise the image would shake). In terms of content, they were short 17 or 30-minute reports - the television hour was filled with 2 or 3 productions, connected by Blokker's masterful commentary in the pre-generics.
Diogenes. was an interesting hybrid between visual background journalism and documentary. Some makers relied on content, others more on their own way of storytelling. It was not a real documentary: there was never any discussion about frames or the unity of time and space in a report. I learned this lesson during my third contribution, shot in an immigrant ghetto outside Lyon, against the background of the bombing committed by Khaled Kelkal, from the neighborhood, on the TGV in 1995. During the editing, the editor wanted to spread a conversation that I had filmed with young people from the neighborhood throughout the report. From my principles as a documentary maker, where I respect the unity of time and space, I forbade that. The editor got angry and called in the final editor. He was highly surprised by my argumentation and agreed with the editor."
In the decades that followed, the concept of 'documentary' naturally watered down. Anything you see on television that is 'about something' is called a documentary. The documentary as a film, as an art form, can only be seen at some festivals. I have continued to make the distinction for myself, in all the years that I also work for television. That explains the principle separation between genres on this website.
From 2008 to 2013, I was the editor-in-chief of the foreign program Tegenlicht. I came up with a new profile to distinguish the program from conventional news and documentary programs: 'future affairs'. Due to the global financial crisis, which we managed to predict, we became a widely viewed program that focused on financial-economic issues from unexpected perspectives, and in other ways focused on 'the world in the making'. My departure from the program was as unexpected as my arrival: after a quarter-hour interview with the television editor-in-chief, I had to make way for an old-timer. I learned from that that in most companies, even in so-called creative and progressive ones, it ultimately only comes down to power."
Jos de Putter zegt over zijn televisiewerk: "Na mijn eerste twee documentaires werd ik eind 1994 gevraagd te komen werken voor het gerenommeerde VPRO buitenlandprogramma Diogenes. Diogenes stond onder leiding van journalist Jan Blokker, een levende legende. De serie werd op film gedraaid, wat de concentratie tijdens het draaiproces (met 16 rollen film) en montage (je kon maar één keer een schnitt maken omdat anders het beeld ging schokken) enorm bevorderde. Inhoudelijk ging het om korte reportages van 17 of 30 minuten –het televisieuur werd gevuld met 2 of 3 producties, onderling verbonden door het meesterlijk commentaar van Blokker in de pregeneriek.
Diogenes was een interessante hybride tussen visuele achtergrondjournalistiek en documentaire. Sommige makers leunden op de inhoud, anderen meer op de eigen manier van vertellen.Het was geen echte documentaire: er was nooit discussie over kaders of de eenheid van tijd en ruimte in een reportage. Ik kreeg die les tijdens mijn derde bijdrage, gedraaid in een immigrantengetto buiten Lyon, tegen de achtergrond van de bomaanslag die Khaled Kelkal, afkomstig uit de wijk, in 1995 had gepleegd op de TGV. Tijdens de montage wilde de editor een gesprek dat ik met jongeren uit de wijk had gedraaid verspreiden door de reportage heen. Vanuit mijn principes als documentairemaker, waarbij ik de eenheid van tijd en ruimte respecteer, verbood ik dat. De editor werd boos en haalde de eindredacteur er bij. Die toonde zich hoogst verbaasd over mijn argumentatie en gaf de editor gelijk.
In de decennia daarna is het begrip ‘documentaire’ natuurlijk verwaterd. Alles wat je op televisie ziet en wat ‘ergens over gaat’ noemen ze documentaire. De documentaire als film, als kunstvorm, zie je enkel nog op sommige festivals.Voor mezelf ben ik het onderscheid wel blijven maken, in al de jaren dat ik ook voor televisie werk. Dat verklaart de voor mij principiële scheiding tussen de genres op deze website."
"Van 2008 tot 2013 was ik eindredacteur van het buitenlandprogramma Tegenlicht. Ik bedacht een nieuw profiel, om het programma te onderscheiden van gangbare actualiteiten- en documentaireprogramma's: 'future affairs'. Door de mondiale financiële crisis, die we wisten te voorspellen, werden we een veelbekeken programma dat vanuit onverwachte perspectieven inzoomde of financieel-economische kwesties en ook op andere manieren focuste op 'de wereld in wording'.
Mijn vertrek bij het programma was even onverwachts als mijn komst: na een onderhoud van een kwartiertje met de hoofdredactie televisie moest ik plaats maken voor een oudgediende. Ik heb daarvan geleerd dat het in de meeste bedrijven, ook in zogenaamd creatieve en vooruitstrevende, uiteindelijk alleen over macht gaat."
Reportages and tv documentaries
1995 Brasil; the rules of the game, 16 mm, 24 minutes, VPRO-Diogenes
1995 Rwanda; The trial 16mm, 17 minutes, VPRO-Diogenes
1995 France, Lyon; Enemy of the state 16 mm., 17 minutes, VPRO-Diogenes
1996 Rumania; The heroes of the 22nd. 16mm, 32 minutes, VPRO-Diogenes
1996 Moscow; Lumumba university. 16mm, 17 minutes, VPRO-Diogenes
1996 Thesiger; the traveller. 16mm, 18 minutes VPRO-Diogenes
1996 Liberia – the promised land. 16 mm, 57 minutes VPRO-Diogenes
1997 Fort Europa, VPRO, video, 35 minutes
1997 On2Mars, VPRO, video, 25 minutes
1998 Cruyff 50; (i.s.m. NPS) video, 25 minutes VPRO / NPS
1998 In memory of the land, video, 35 minutes, VPRO
1998 Yn’t foarbygean, Omrop Fryslãn, video 35 minutes
1999 The Calculating Cowboy, VPRO / DNW, video, 50 minutes
2001 Tired heroes VPRO/ DNW, video 50 minutes
2002 The mountain (part of trilogy after 09/11) VPRO/DNW, video, 50 minutes
2003 The Milosevic-case, VPRO/Tegenlicht video 2 x 55 minutes
2004 The road to the Kremlin, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 52 minutes
2004 The Milosevic-case updated, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 71 minutes
2005 Thinking about Europe, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 52 minutes
2008 Agenda Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2008 Crash, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2009 The iceland experience, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2010 The green revolution, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2011 Our dictator friends, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2011 The world after Wiki, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 52 minutes
2012 Meeting John Berger, 22 minutes
2012 Target Iran, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2012 Personal debt, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2013 The Banker’s Brain, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2013 The Banker’s Confession, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2013 Germany Out!, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2014 Speeches: Rosaria Schifani, VPRO, 50 minutes
2015 Speeches: Lech Walesa, VPRO, 50 minutes
2015 Speeches: Salman Rushdie, VPRO, 50 minutes
2016 People, Power and Varoufakis, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2016 The Chinese World Order, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2017 Democracy’s challenge, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2017 A matter of confidence, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 50 minutes
2018 Battle at the Danube, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 45 minutes
2018 George Monbiot: the way out, VPRO/Tegenlicht,45 minutes
2019 Exit Slotervaart, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 44 minutes
2019 Eigen handel eerst, VPRO/Tegenlicht, 44 minutes
I started working for the renowned TV documentary program Diogenes in 1995. The first short documentary I did was a portrait of the most notorious gang leader/narco trafficker Beato Salu, in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Beato Salu was killed three months later. He must have known it was coming; I always think that was the only reason he agreed to talk to me.
With Beato Salu, 1995
1996: with Sir Wilfred Thesiger, the last of the great explorers, director of photography Stef Tijdink, and sound engineer Wib Nelisse.
In 2013, I wrote the series "SPEECHES" for VPRO. The idea was to present famous speeches and find stories about the impact they still have on today's lives. In 2015, I directed three episodes: on Lech Walesa; on Salman Rushdie and on the emotional speech of Rosaria Schifani, at the funeral of her husband Vito, murdered by the mafia in the attack on Giovanni Falcone in 1992.
with Lech Walesa
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
Before the flood
Nor his donkey