I have been an admirer of the work of William Kentridge for some years now, but after visiting the exhibition “Ten drawings for Projection (1989-2011)” in Eye Amsterdam, I unexpectedly had inspiration for a new project.
I know most of Kentridge’s films but seeing ten of his films within less than two hours had a very pleasant effect on me. May be it’s because I just finished my own film that I’m suddenly open for new things, I don’t know, but I was especially interested in the music Kentridge had used as soundtrack, in combination with the highly political content of his films.
For some reason the repression of black people by whites in South Africa made me think of the dutch repression of indonesian citizens during the so-called “politionele acties” between 1945-1949, known as the “War of Independence” by the Indonesians. During my travels through Indonesia in 2015 I was immensely impressed by the museum in Yogyakarta portraying the “agresi Belanda'”(“the Dutch agression”), which made me realize that there’s no difference between what the nazi’s did to the dutch in 1940-45 and what the Netherlands did to Indonesia in 1945-49.
This is also decribed in large detail by the fantastic historical research by Ewald Vanvugt in his book “Roofstaat” (“Robbing nation”). But where the nazi’s unleashed their terrors on the Netherlands for 5 years, the Indonesians had to suffer from the dutch agression for more than 300 years, since the occupation and exploitation of the Indonesian islands began in the 17th century.
Watching Kentridge’s films, I felt like wanting to make a new animation film about Indonesia, accompanied by beautiful music.
“Images can make us listen better, and music can make us seeing better” – William Kentridge.