Working on the film

Apr 5, 2018

I learned about Geislingen refugee camp while I was working on the film about Class of 1943, about the school class of my Estonian father. One of his classmates stayed in Geislingen for some years and he had a wonderful time there. He was reunited with his family and fell in love. Even being in his eighties he still longed for Geislingen.

I had plans for a documentary film, but it was two years ago that I decided: now I will make the film. Last December I finished with Leo van Emden, the editor, a first rough edit. It is a fascinating and exciting stage in the working process: finally everything comes together, all the research, interviews, pictures and footage. You see the script come alive.

This first edit allows me to see how all elements of the script work together, how tension builds up, how the storyline works. Then time is needed; it is even essential, as it creates a distance to have a critical look. Now the script needs rewriting, a new edit needs to be made and then we will go through this process at least once more.

It sometimes reminds me of making an Italian bread: you kneed the dough, you let it rise and rest, kneed it once more, let it rise and rest and then a third time, before it goes into the oven. It is possible to put the dough in the oven after it has risen just once, but for tasteful, light and airy bread you have to go through the whole process. You just need time.