Archive of films The Long Holiday / De grote vakantie

2000, 142 min

Section: Johan van der Keuken
Year: 2002

The director’s passion for film also spawned his last opus, an autobiographical essay in which meditative images are interspersed with portraits of the landscape and its inhabitants. In “diary entries” from the last few months of Van der Keuken’s life, the camera unveils the contexts of modern technology and the magical world which, despite their apparent incongruity, surprisingly share common traits.


An autobiographical essay whose theme treating the confrontation of life and death was induced by the director’s illness. “If I wasn’t making films, I’d be dead”. The director’s passion for film is also evident from his last opus in which meditative images are fused with portraits of people and the landscape. His treatment of prostate cancer brought him into contact not only with modern medical practices but also traditional remedies from Nepal. In the form of “diary entries” detailing the last few months of van Keuken’s life, the camera discloses the contexts of modern technology and magic which, despite apparent contradiction, work through one another. Hopes for insights which, in close proximity with death, would change the filmmaker’s life perspective, endure until the peaceful close, where they are finally fulfilled through the camera lens: the sparkling surface of the water with its gently swaying boats is diffused into a shimmering imaginative film vision.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Johan van der Keuken
Director: Johan van der Keuken
Screenplay: Johan van der Keuken
Dir. of Photography: Johan van der Keuken
Music: Ab Baars
Editor: Menno Boerema, Johan van der Keuken
Producer: Pieter van Huystee
Production: Pieter van Huystee Productions

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