Nederlands English

Flat Earth

Directed by Monique Verhoeckx

80 minutes

Release: 2015

Premiere: during the Netherlands Film Festival, 28th of September 2014. Selected for the Golden Calf Competition and nominated for Best Sound.

 

Hybrid film about a young veteran struggling with PTSD caused by his World War II experiences in Thailand. By expressing his thoughts to his son, he tries to control his anger and helplessness to make peace with his aged son and himself: Poetic narration of a traumatized family.

 

Trailer

 

FLAT EARTH is an experimental film drama by Monique Verhoeckx dealing with the war experiences of her father and her young deceased grandfather. Both are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. The film is an attempt by the filmmaker to connect with the impenetrable world of her granddad and her father.
The memories and associations of the young fictitious main character Senior are fiercely driven by the fact that he is unable to face his war memories. Gradually the viewer gains access to Senior’s emotional inner world of denial and distortion: a world that is under pressure when he is involuntarily confronted with images of the forced labour at the Thailand-Burma Railway. Like his son Junior, Senior is mentally in search of liberation from an inescapable past. By expressing his thoughts to his aged son he tries to master his anger and helplessness to make peace with his son and himself. A poetic narration of a traumatized family.

 

Characters:

Senior Flat Earth

SENIOR, a young veteran who was a Dutch prisoner of war at the Thailand-Burma Railway during World War II.

Reaching out for his son:

Junior Flat Earth

His son, JUNIOR, was a war-camp child during the Japanese occupation of the Netherlands East Indies. Now he is an old man, still longing for his father.

 

Director's statement:

My family’s secretive world of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder inspired me to make a hybrid film. In the lives of my granddad and my father, both veterans of war, fiction and reality came and come together in distortion and denial. The past always present in the now, unspeakable war experiences echoing in silence and anger. As a member of the third generation and as a filmmaker I asked myself: how could I depict this process of coping with unbearable memories? I imagined a control room of the mind, like an editing studio. And I rearranged time. My own observations, archival footage, associative images and visual effects fill in the gaps of what is unseen and unheard by the outside world. This way I explored the complex relationship between a father and his son, trying to speak up as the next generation.

 

Flat Earth Senior Junior

 

Senior: Joris Smit

Junior: Piet Verhoeckx

Screenplay & directed: Monique Verhoeckx

Director of photography: Gregor Meerman

Sound: Erik Langhout

Editor: Barbara Hin

Music composer: Albert van Veenendaal   

Grading: Jef Grosfeld

Visual Effects: Ruud de Bruyn – Loods, Lux & Lumen

Sound Design: Erik Langhout & Albert van Veenendaal 

 

Film stills
Press kit 

Mondriaan Fonds Flat Earth VSB Fonds Flat Earth  Film Fonds Flat Earth