After her great-uncle's decease, director Saskia van den Heuvel suddenly starts receiving long e-mails from his widow, Mies Biesheuvel. As a child, Van den Heuvel admired the couple who lived far away (in Canada) and prior to that had been in the resistance in the Netherlands. The whole family was also acquainted with the less heroic side of things: her husband cheated on her. In her idyllic house full of silent witnesses to her origin (old colonial tableware, maxims on the wall), her great-niece's camera shows Mies looking back with satisfaction, although she calls her husband Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and herself blinded by passion. She celebrates her ninetieth birthday with her family and feels swaddled by their love. Things are far more complicated for some of her seven children, an e-mail correspondence with the director proves. Off-screen, a few daughters read some excerpts. They struggle with their father's abuse and their mother's inability (or reluctance) to prevent it. Meanwhile, the camera explores the beautiful scenery around Mies' house and the many preserved home videos show a seemingly happy past.

Credits

Sound editing
Sound Design
Muziek
Wise Man's Child
Production company
Wilde Harten Producties

Title: Shades of Grey
Year: 2010
Duration : 55 minutes
Category: Short Documentary
Edition: NFF 2010

Gouden Kalf nominees

Beste Korte Documentaire (2010)
Saskia van den Heuvel

NFF Archive

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