De klimop rouwt nog steeds (The Ivy Still Mourns)
In 1962, the last deceased found a final resting place on the old Amsterdam cemetery Huis Te Vraag. The last grave rights expire in 2012. This green oasis near the South Axis in Amsterdam has been overseen for twenty years by painter, writer and gardener Leon van der Heijnen and his wife Willemijn. One day, the artist found his ideal studio here, when he also decided to maintain the cemetery. Although he did not know a thing about gardening, he gradually started 'stylising nature'. Van der Heijnen, who once moved from Den Bosch to Amsterdam, is proud of nature: 'There are at least fifteen species of grass here, and the ivy is sacred. It is the only plant that keeps mourning the dead long after the surviving relatives have forgotten them.' The film also shows his highly diverse paintings. While Van der Heijnen discusses life in beautiful well-turned phrases, images of his oasis are shown, but also of the advancing development. He justifiably calls this place 'a beleaguered paradise'.