Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

"An exercise in the minimal."

The port as a liminal space, goods in transit are not anywhere (yet) but they are not (yet) anywhere else. Cranes in the act of being repainted, still and unmanned, faded and fresh grey, faded and fresh orange, waiting aloft, aloof.

Two men in Stefanie Kolk's film, two men painting, two men over-writing the past. Two men in a space, a place, a particular between. Two men who find a body.

The obvious thing to do is to call the police, to bring out torches and bullhorns and rigid inflatable boats, the apparatus of the state, to fish the body from the water and drag it from where it floats to shore, to collapse the wave-form of unknown perhaps as far as the narrower bounds of unidentified, to the particle of a name, to give form to question and answer to form. Circumstances do not allow. Goods are documented, trans-shipped, lifted from sea to shore by cranes with mechanical certainty and grace. To be ashore is to be in the eyes of bureacracy, of systems, some metal, some men. The painters cannot risk the apparatus of the state.

An exercise in the minimal, in the humane in the shadow of the industrial, of new findings for fresh betweens - the threshold of arrival to a place, the docks, but other and different interstices, half-way houses. A shed on wheels, unfilled cigarettes, a wave in a telephone conversation. The opposite of hi-viz is not low-viz, it's a jumper, and waiting, waiting.

This is a small piece, a two and a bit hander - it could be staged in the right way as play, but is stronger for its use of location. A wave across a channel says as much as half a conversation, a wave back, another unlooking. The day continues, the wait continues, and in that wait, that weight, much is unsaid, saying much. The attempts at the domestic, packed-lunch, paint-flecked, unspeakings and hintings and the wait, the weight, reflection.

Considered film-making, this, implying by outline, through talent.

Reviewed on: 18 Mar 2018
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Harbour packshot
Two industrial painters discover a dead body in the Rotterdam harbour.

Director: Stefanie Kolk

Writer: Stefanie Kolk

Starring: Ruben de Goede, Rakan Rushaidat, Sergiu Voloc, Ruben de Goede, Rakan Rushaidat, Sergiu Voloc

Year: 2017

Runtime: 13 minutes

Country: Netherlands


GSFF 2018

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