I think that one of the most beautiful aspects of our lives is encountering other people, listening to their stories, sharing their journeys of imagination and learning from this. For me, filmmaking broadens and deepens this experience. The attempt to understand the other and through this, ourselves, is at the core of what filmmaking is for me.
My research revolves around the questions:
- What is my position in an encounter?
- How to visualize intimacy?
- How can I invite the viewer to become part of the intimacy in an encounter?
With my research I aim to find ways of visualizing the ‘inner narration’ of the people I meet, the narrative world that goes beyond that which is visible at first glance, the narratives that help us to deal with aspects of life that we might find incomprehensible and that connect to our memories and imaginations. I consider intimacy an essential condition for sharing and exchanging this inner world with others. It’s a condition for listening and observing.
Related to intimacy is the notion of the encounter. The encounter marks the beginning of my work process. Within my research I explore the encounter as a object of study itself. I try to learn more about my role and position as a maker and about the possibilities this presents for the viewer to become part of the encounter and thus to connect their personal narrative to the one in the film.
I explore intimacy and the encounter in relation to family, home and conflict. I understand the intimacy between family members and their homes as intimate physical ánd mental constructions. Family as an independent generator of narratives, but also altering these narratives over time. I am interested in conflict as an undefined presence at the horizon of someone’s life, in someone’s personal narrative about it and its influence on different generations in a family.
Three studies of nearness
Three of my encounters grew into the project Three studies of nearness a triptych. It’s a laboratory for my study of intimacy and the encounter. I test different methods, explore my position and look from different perspectives into family, home and conflict. When finalised, the three parts, three short documentaries, also stand on their own.
Country of production the Netherlands
THREE STUDIES OF NEARNESS
Part 1: TSEN-NANA
An exploration of the invisible cloud of narrations present in the home of the Adajew family, who fled, over ten years ago, from Chechnya to Warsaw, Poland. How are the war, the longing for the father and the homeland still present in this warm home?
Director, cinematographer, editor Eliane Esther Bots
with the Adajew family
Part 2: The Brick House (formerly: HOME)
Actors Sapa and Hija re-enact and re-tell short anecdotes of their lives. Coming from another country, there is a quest for belonging and the (im)possibility to completely feel at home.
Director, editor Eliane Esther Bots
Cinematography Herman van den Bosch
with Sapa, Hija Saleh
Part 3: CLOUD FORESTS (IN PROGRESS)
Through short audio narratives, six daughters take us on an imaginative journey through the memories and images they have of the histories of their families and their families’ experiences of the war in Bosnia.
Director Eliane Esther Bots
with Elma Cavcic