At the age of seven, director Jeanette Groenendaal moved to a deeply religious village. It was the 1970s, and the girl's arrival from the big city of Utrecht provoked fear in the hearts of the inhabitants of the small hamlet in the Dutch Bible Belt. They saw her as an "alien" and a "city whore," and treated her accordingly. The teacher at her strict Calvinist school called her the "Devil's daughter" and the whole class repeated his words. Thirty-eight years later, Groenendaal (\i Dutch Cocaine Factory\i0 , 2007) returns to the village to film a personal study of the scapegoat mechanism. She sets up a complex performance/film project in the village, staging tableaux performances based on the frozen images from her memories of this emotionally charged location. This stylized autobiography is more than a personal therapy session or a documentary about a fundamentalist community. It returns to the past, not out of revenge or a need to judge, but to investigate the roots of a past that is returning to the present, with the contemporary outpouring of religion, conservatism, xenophobia, and judgmental moral standards. Workshopped at IDFA 2009, Groenendaal had the public contribute their thoughts and feelings to the creation of the film.
Jeanette Groenendaal for G-netwerk
Jeanette Groenendaal, Zoot Derks