Archive of films Magonia / Magonia

2001, 112 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2002

The hero of this poetic film is a dreamer of a boy who listens to his father’s stories while they fly kites together. The narrative reflects the endeavour to fulfil timeless human desires, and praises the human capacity for escaping from the harshness of reality into dreams. The film was presented in the Competition at the San Sebastian IFF.


The hero of this poetic film is a dreamer of a boy who visits his one-of-a-kind father each week on an idyllic island. When the father has to return behind the walls of the asylum where he lives, the boy elaborates on the stories of the mythical land of Magonia that his father has told him. The first tale tells of a muezzin who loses his voice, and of the young lovelorn man who futilely attempts to offer him assistance. The second story involves a foreign couple whose car breaks down in the desert, providing them with the opportunity of meeting an old man and his son who long to make new acquaintances. The heroine of the third tale is a waitress living in a small fishing village who has waited for years for her beloved sailor to return home. When her idol finally does turn up she realizes that he is all too real for her taste. Motifs of flying, clouds and ships weave in and out of this fancifully told narrative, a tale in itself which praises the idea of escaping from everyday life. The film was screened in the Competition at the San Sebastian IFF.

About the director

Ineke Smits (b. 1960, Rotterdam) studied art at the Rotterdam Art Academy and film direction at London’s National Film & Television School. After graduating in 1993 she began shooting short dramatic works which soon gained critical attention: Monas Plen (1989) was screened at the 1990 Rotterdam festival, while Rose, Violet & Lily, (1992 – co-dir. Tato Kotetishvili) launched the same festival two years later. She further developed her poetic vision in the films Hoerenpreek (1996) and The Cloud Factory, which came out of a story by Arthur Japin. For her feature debut, Magonia, she was again inspired by Japin’s poetic world as expressed in his successful first novel Magonian Stories.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Ineke Smits
Screenplay: Arthur Japin
Dir. of Photography: Piotr Kukla
Music: Gio Tsintsadze
Editor: René Wiegmans
Producer: Valerie Schuit
Production: Eyewonder Films
Cast: Dirk Roofthooft, Willem Voogd, Ramsey Nasr, Nato Murvanidze, Nodar Mgaloblishvili, Theophile Sowie, Adama Kouyate, Linda van Dyck, Antje De Boeck, Jack Wouterse, Geert Hunaerts

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