You are now in the NFF Archive. The archive contains contains information on film, TV and interactive productions that were screened at past festival editions. The NFF does not dispose of this material. For this, please contact the producer, distributor or broadcaster. Sometimes, older films can also be found at the Eye Film Museum or the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
Documentary about Dutch engineers who went to Japan in the late 19th century to work. They were hired as a result of the Japanese ambition to change the country from a feudal state into a modern society.
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.