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Dearest Fiona

Fiona Tan creates a poetic world by combining old images of the Netherlands with the letters her father once sent her.

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.

Dearest Fiona

In 1988, Fiona Tan moved from Australia to Amsterdam to study. During that period, her father wrote her numerous letters in which he not only discussed personal and family matters, but also shed light on what was happening in the world.

For her new film, Tan delved into Eye Filmmuseum's archives to search for images of everyday life in the Netherlands before 1920. She found fascinating material that shows a vanished world in which, for example, the harvest was still taken from the land by hand, in which wearing traditional costumes was still common, and land reclamation was still in full swing.

As we see these images, a voice-over reads out her father's letters. The images obviously do not illustrate what is discussed in the letters, but together with the soundtrack, they form a poetic, associative whole that feels like a loving tribute to another era and to family.