The Maelstrom - A Family ChroniclePéter Forgács

1942. A family sits gloomily at the table, in semi-darkness. The women mend clothes, their suitcases ready in the background. It is not the opening scene of a fiction film, but an amateur film of the Peereboom family, a Dutch-Jewish family that continued to film until the night before they were deported. The tragedy of the Second World War told through family films that - with the knowledge of what is about to happen in mind - strike you in the heart.

Throughout his career, Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács has enjoyed working with archival images as a means of reconstructing history. There are plenty of archival images of the Second World War and the Holocaust, but Forgács uses sources from that time that are rarely discussed: amateur films. This remarkable and striking addition to the official history documentaries is based on a collection of films made by the Dutch-Jewish Peereboom family in the period 1938-1942. Only one family member will survive the war. The images of the Peereboom family are supplemented with family films by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the Reichskommissar for the Netherlands appointed by Hitler.

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Fond of Footage

For documentary makers, 'found footage' is an inexhaustible source of material. This 'found footage' may consist of archive footage or recent film footage shot for another purpose. But how do you use it? DOCVILLE selected a few documentaries that manage to incorporate archive images in their film in a compelling and original way. Let’s get creative with archives!

Historical documentary Family

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Directed by Péter Forgács
The Netherlands
1997 60 min.
Subtitles: English


Fond of Footage


Péter Forgács


Péter Forgács


Cesar Messemaker

Production company

Lumen Film


Péter Forgács


Tibor Szemzö

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