THE NETHERLANDS / 1999 / Dutch / Color / 35mm (1:1.66) / 97 min
Director: Heddy Honigmann
Script: Heddy Honigmann, Esther Gould
Photography: Gregor Meerman
Editing: Mario Steenbergen
Sound: Piotr van Dijk, Rik Meier
Producer: Pieter van Huystee
Production Company: Pieter van Huystee Film & TV
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Dutch UN soldiers revisit the battlefields burnt into their memory. Now that they have returned to everyday life, the men find that recalling their experiences in faraway places inevitably brings one particular song to mind. Director Honigmann experiments with a tenacious interview style to expose the scars the soldiers bear deep inside when the music intertwines with memories of wartime.
[Directors Statement] The last taxi-driver in my documentary Metal and Melancholy listens to a music-cassette at the end of the film. It is a song he began listening to about 25 years ago, together with an Italian girl he loved very much. They broke up because it was an ‘impossible’ love. But he carries this music with him in the taxi each and every day. And in the film he listens to it and you see him seeing her, loving her again. He doesn’t know it, but this taxi-driver somehow inspired me to make two other films about the power of music in people’s lives: The Underground Orchestra and Crazy.
After The Underground Orchestra I wondered what the power and function of music might be in the worst possible situation that a person can be in: war. The power of listening to a certain piece of music, returned as a main theme. Through music, Crazy takes us on a very personal journey inside the lives of Dutch UN-veterans. Crazy is a film on the reminiscences of some Dutch UN-soldiers about the battlefields where they served: memories that are inextricably linked to one special song that brought them solace far from home or protected them in one way or another against the horrors of war. Starting with the first UN mission to Korea (1950), the film takes us on a journey to Lebanon, Cambodia, Rwanda and former Yugoslavia and ends with the fall of Srebrenica in 1995. Using home videos and photos, and some moving but also gruesome archive footage, the soldiers tell their poignant stories about responsibility, melancholy, fear, love, impotence and death.
Born in 1951 in Lima, Peru. Went to Holland and became a Dutch citizen in 1978. Studied biology and literature in Lima and film in Rome. Her first film, The Israel of the Beduins (1979) was codirected with C. Carlotto. Other works include The Door of the House (1985) and Four Times My Heart (1990). Metal and Melancholy (1993) received the Mayor’s Prize in the International Competition at YIDFF ’95. The Underground Orchestra (1998) received the Jury Special Prize at YIDFF ’99. Other recent works include Goodbye (1995), O Amor Natural (1996), and 2 Minutes Silence, Please (1998).
• International Competition | Angelos’ Film | A2 | Buenaventura Durruti, Anarchist | Crazy | Days in Those Mountains | La Devinière | Gaea Girls | Grandma’s Hairpin | In Vanda’s Room | The Land of the Wandering Souls | Mysterious Object at Noon | Paragraph 175 | Private Chronicles. Monologue | 6 Easy Pieces | Southern Comfort • Jurors | Hartmut Bitomsky | Bernard Eisenschitz | Ann Hui | Kuroki Kazuo | Ivars Seleckis