Captured - How to be prepared for the past
A documentary by Batya Wolff and Arnoud Holleman
Documentary for KRO?NCRV, 55" in collaboration with Batya Wolff. Produced by De Familie. Expected in 2021
Batya: My father Max (of 94) has been behind the camera throughout his life, in the desperate attempt of keeping the loss and pain of the Holocaust at a distance. I’ve always been on the other side, in front of his lens – and soon I will inherit his vast archive of 50.000 photos and many hours of 8mm film reels. How to own this heavy legacy?
In CAPTURED the viewer witnesses the transition of the family archive from one generation to the other. In Arnhem, in Batya's parental home, Max is surrounded by his archive; in his study the cupboards are packed with albums and his computer is both for indexing and photoshopping. Meanwhile in Amsterdam, in her studio, Batya is working her way through what Max gave her over the years: CD-ROM’s, film reels and books.
The parental home and studio are the two main locations in the film. Going back and forth from one to the other, the transition takes place, physically by bringing in parts of the archive, and mentally, by processing the images. The studio is Batya's ‘control room’, She selects, prints and juxtaposes the archival images of one hundred years of family history. What she does is similar to what Max has done throughout his life, but she does it on her own terms. In this process of handling images the story unfolds in a series of encounters with Max. These encounters, shot between 2010 and now, develop from careful approach to painful confrontation, to moments of repair and shared mourning over our family history.