Beste Korte Documentaire Saskia Gubbels
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Whereas the Netherlands, due to the increasing population density, is largely coming apart at the seams, some areas are afflicted by depopulation. Symbolic for this phenomenon is the port of Delfzijl, in northeast Groningen. De zee lacht me toe is a portrait of a working-class area in Delfzijl, built in the post-war reconstruction years and now slowly but steadily disappearing. Inhabitants bring back memories, illustrated by nostalgic archive footage and the unrelenting images and sounds of demolition. It is striking to see how some residents are attached to their paltry looking houses. But the emotional bond appears to be invaluable, especially when a family has occupied a house from generation to generation and shared the sweet and bitter there. The film presents a melancholy mosaic of honest and simple folks, who try to keep their spirits up while their environment is literally being pulled down.