GERLACH is the heartbreaking portrait of an arable farmer who has been taking care of his crops, his potatoes and grain for sixty years under the smoke of Schiphol Airport and is now experiencing the effects of industrial agriculture, globalization, and climate change. His country has been hemmed in by industrial estates and branches of multinationals. Directors Aliona van der Horst and Luuk Bouwman have filmed farmer Gerlach van Beinum since 2018, during all seasons, including a scorching summer and a soaking wet autumn. His land has been flooded. An apocalyptic image. We see how Gerlach, with the help of his brothers, carries out a lawsuit against the unreasonably long opening hours of a McDonald's branch, how his rheumatism causes him incessant pain and how zoning plans have no interest in traditional farming. But this is not a romantic or programmatic film. Gerlach is too down-to-earth for that and the farming life too complex. The classic-narrative and observing GERLACH was awarded the prize for best Dutch film during the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in 2023. The jury understood the film in a global perspective and compared Gerlach's struggle with that of indigenous farmers in the Global South who struggle with the expropriation of their land and exploitation of the earth through intensive and industrial agriculture. There are other major themes and parallels in the film, such as the destructive consequences of late capitalism, neoliberal economic policies, and the resulting climate crisis. (Dana Linssen)

Director's Filmography (Selection)
Gerlach (2023, doc) - Turn Your Body to the Sun (2021, doc, van der Horst; CE24) - Allen Tegen Allen (All Against All, 2019, doc, Bouwman) - Liefde is Aardappelen (Love Is Potatoes, 2017, doc, van der Horst; CE18 & 24) - Dick Verdult: It Is True But Not Here (2017, doc, Bouwman) - De Bond tegen vloeken (The Leage Against Swearing, 2015, doc, Bouwman) - 15 Attempts (2013, doc, van der Horst) - Don’t Shoot The Messenger (2013, doc, van der Horst) - Donker Oss (Dark Oss, 2012, doc, Bouwman) - Water Children (2011, doc, van der Horst; CE24) - Boris Ryzhy (2008, doc, van der Horst; CE10 & 24) - Voices Of Bam (2006, doc, van der Horst, co-directed with Maasja Ooms; CE24) - A Passion For The Hermitage (doc series, 2006, van der Horst) - Na de lente van ’68 (After The Spring Of ’68, 2001, mid-length doc, van der Horst) - De dame met het witte hoedje (The Lady with the White Hat, 1997, mid-length doc, van der Horst)
Tribute · Architektur und Gesellschaft | Architecture and Society · Eröffnungsfilme | Opening Films 2024
Aliona van der Horst, Luuk Bouwman
Netherlands 2023
77 minutes
OV with English subtitles

Screenings / Tickets

Film guest(s) present: Aliona van der Horst (Director)

Film guest(s) present: Aliona van der Horst (Director)

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Screenplay Aliona van der Horst, Luuk Bouwman
Cinematography Aliona van der Horst, Luuk Bouwman
Editing Luuk Bouwman
Sound/Sounddesign Aliona van der Horst, Mark Glynne
Music Annette Kruisbrink, Bram Meindersma, Harry de Wit, Emanuele Pellegrini
Producer(s) Ilja Roomans
World Sales
Austrian Premiere
World Premiere
IDFA 2023