Archive of films A Journey to Tarakan / Een ontdekkingsreis naar Tarakan

2002, 47 min

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Year: 2003

After a period of sixty years, filmmaker Karel Doing sets out on the trail of his uncle who was murdered by the Japanese in 1942 on the Indonesian island of Tarakan. A highly intimate travel diary which unfurls unobtrusive cinematographic images of long ago, complemented by excerpts of his uncle’s letters and archive film material.  


After sixty years, director Karel Doing reawakens the story of his uncle Ed Huis in’t Veld, who was murdered by the Japanese in 1942 on the Indonesian island of Tarakan. He sets out in his uncle’s footsteps, he visits various ports (Amsterdam, Genoa, Port-Said) and stops off at Jakarta and Borneo. Quotations from Ed’s letters are illustrated with shots of archive documentaries from the colonial era which the filmmaker combines with his own commentary in the form of a travel diary filmed on Super8. While, during the journey, he and his camera take in the new sights, absorbing as much as they can in order to make full use of the time allotted for short-stopovers, on Tarakan itself, however, the film assumes an unobtrusive pious atmosphere of calm, focusing on details reminiscent of his uncle’s presence all those years ago. In spite of the arc of time which has elapsed and the thousands of nautical miles covered, for the entire fifty minutes, the film preserves that which makes it unique – an impression of great intimacy.

About the director

Karel Doing (1965, Canberra, Australia) studied fine art in 1986-1990 at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem, Holland. In 1990 he established the Studio één foundation, which chiefly organises seminars for experimental and independent filmmakers. Over the next eight years he co-organised programmes on experimental film in various European cities (Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, among others). During the mid-1990s he moved Studio één to Rotterdam and, three years later, founded the production company Doing Film. Selected filmography: Meni (1994), Rainbow Stories (1996), Maas Observation (1997) Whirlwind (1998), Energy Energy (1999), Images of a Moving City (2001), Best Foot Forward (2001), A Journey to Tarakan (Een ontdekkingsreis naar Tarakan, 2002).   


Doing Film
Walenburgerweg 90a, 3033 AH, Rotterdam
Tel: +31 10 465 4481
Fax: +31 10 465 4481

EYE Film Institute Netherlands
IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT, Amsterdam
Tel: +31 207582375

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Documentary Films - Competition
Director: Karel Doing
Screenplay: Karel Doing
Dir. of Photography: Karel Doing
Editor: Erik van de Belt
Producer: Karel Doing
Production: Doing Film
Contact: Doing Film, EYE Film Institute Netherlands


Karel Doing


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