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DEPARTURE BAY   Jacqueline Heerema

The sea gives and the sea takes. Anyone who lives with the sea knows that, also the Zeeuwen in February 1953, when the water took over their land. Tanis' father was an 8-year-old boy when he experienced the flood disaster.


In the documentary Departure Bay, created by Aram Tanis and Jacolijn Verhoef, the father tells his personal story of those fateful days. The memories of the father complete the 'Big Story' of the flood disaster, as we know from the history books, with everyday life scenes; such as cycling along the dikes while the water was so high that you could no longer move forward, filling sand bags with his father, disinfecting corpse carriers, the white bread that was dropped out of planes and throwing snowballs with the soldiers.

Tanis and Verhoef film the main character in a close up. The only additions are pictures of the big flood of 1953, which is so modified that the water moves in the still images. This way the spectator gets a little bit closer to the life as it was in February 1953. And that is special. Because no one at the time really spoke about what happened. You just went on with life. That makes retrieving memories not any easier for Tanis' father. In one of the first minutes of the documentary he tries to keep his emotions under control. The vulnerability of that moment and that you are allowed to be a witnessed of this moment has a moving effect.


The restraint of Tanis and Verhoef towards the material testifies to their integrity. It ensures that the emphasis is on the story.