In een Japanse stroomversnelling
At the beginning of this documentary, crown prince Willem-Alexander addresses the De Rijke symposium in Osaka on water management. The name De Rijke, just like Van Doorn, Escher and Lindo, is famous in Japan. In the nineteenth century, these Dutch engineers went to Japan to improve the waterways, because of the poor infrastructure and the danger of flooding. Still today, these men, who have been forgotten in the Netherlands, are highly praised for their achievements in Japan, for example with a play, a park, even a replica of a grave that lies in Holland. Director Louis van Gasteren illustrates passages from Dutch letters home - `one must have a philosophical nature not to get annoyed' - with current images of the locations mentioned, where Japanese people respectfully elucidate. Archive footage is combined with excerpts from the Japanese, Dutch-spoken feature film Ver weg, about the engineers' personal lives.