|THE CHESTNUT TREE AND THE RIVER|
an experimental film by Marieke van der Sloot
In February 2007, Marieke van der
Sloot started shooting De Kastanjeboom en de Rivier (The Chestnut Tree and
the River) in the Brabant nature reserve known as the Biesbosch.
The shooting will take about 14 months.
The Dutch Film Fund has provided a grant as part of its Research & Development activities.
Seen from the perspective of an old chestnut tree, we look at the metamorphosis of the landscape
In the Brabant Biesbosch nature reserve, the Turfzakken polder is planned to be a flood plain for high water in the rivers. In order to realise this, a channel has to be dug straight across what has been a polder for more than a century. Man-made land is given back to the water. The director Marieke van der Sloot makes the passing of time intangible by showing the changing landscape from the branches of a chestnut tree.
Marieke van der Sloot sitting on a branch in the chestnut tree
From the screenplay by Marieke van der Sloot
"In a corner of the Turfzakken polder, in the Brabant Biesbosch, is a large old chestnut tree. Through its eyes and from its branches, we look at the landscape. We see how the polder is at the mercy of the weather, wind and water. The Scottish Highlanders and a few ornithologists are the only larger visitors. The day, the night and the seasons form a rhythm without a beginning or end. Rays of sunlight and rain showers visit the tree, leave their impression behind and move on. The wind taps time for the dance of the leaves. That's how it's been for years and that's how it always will be.
But one autumn day, the tree is suddenly startled by strange sounds. Machines and tractors move into the area, they leave sheds and a generator. A works track is to be laid. Throughout the winter, the arms of the machines flay into the ground. We see soft rushes disappear between huge bites of black clay as they crumble apart. Slowly but surely, the course of the new river becomes visible."
director: Marieke van der Sloot
producer: Digna Sinke