Eline Jongsma’s great-grandfather was known as “Crazy Gerrit.” This was a rather innocent nickname considering who he actually was: the ruthless, violent mayor of the town of Krommenie, Netherlands, during the Second World War, and a fanatical member of the NSB—the Dutch Nazi party. After the war ended, his children disowned him out of shame, and his great-granddaughter grew up unaware of his existence. But no secret can stay buried forever.
In this animated, Instagram-based series, Jongsma and her filmmaking partner Kel O’Neill search through archives and family memories to create a fractured portrait of Crazy Gerrit and his legacy. While each of its 10 episodes can stand alone, the whole forms an ingenious, kaleidoscopic look at history, guided by a propelling soundtrack that compels you to keep watching.
Artist duo Jongsma + O’Neill focus less on Gerrit’s motivations than on creating a chronicle of war and intergenerational guilt. This is a story about remembering and forgetting, and the ways in which the past makes itself felt in the present.