The Birds Are Silent in the Forest

Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde

  • Tim De Keersmaecker
  • Belgium
  • 2007
  • 18 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
Only the first and last sequences of this subdued circular narration refer to the protagonist's daily reality. Or better put, his nightly reality, because he works the nightshift in a warehouse. Coming home, he silently eats breakfast with his mother and stares aimlessly, sitting on the couch in his house that is full to the rafters with furniture. Hunting trophies adorn the walls. Static shots show different relics: rows of antlers, stuffed foxes and badgers. Then he picks up his hunting rifle and drives his car to the forest. A rite of passage. Industrial zones and landscapes pass by until eventually all civilisation has disappeared. Just the man, his rifle and the forest remain. Mystically captured, cloaked in layers of mist, as if this place had nothing to do with reality. The man waits, combs sections of the woods, scans the horizon from a watchtower through his binoculars, and keeps waiting. A night goes by, and another day. Nothing. Without a new trophy, he leaves his dream world, the place where he can transcend himself in complete solitude, and comes back to where the film began: the nightshift in a warehouse.


  • 18 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: German
Tim De Keersmaecker
Lai Kin Chang for Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel, Departement RITS
Rik Zang, Ruben Impens
Stijn Deconinck, Dieter Diependaele
Raf Enckels, Robin Goubin

IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history

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