Time within Time

In een vergeten moment

  • Menno Otten
  • Netherlands
  • 2009
  • 20 min
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
This film has no dialogue but begins with the hectic sound of footsteps and cars, and blurry smudges that form rhythmic, abstract patterns. The tram flashes by almost unrecognizably, while the people it leaves behind get distorted by the reflecting windows. Halfway through, the images settle down and we get silent, long takes of people as they penetratingly stare. With this, we become aware of all those empty moments that we never pay any attention to. The filmmakers came up with the idea for Time within Time after seeing a picture by photographer Ed van der Elsken, in which a woman in the Tokyo metro is completely lost in thought. They then spent a year looking for this expression on the streets of Amsterdam. In the end, they shot their film at the tram shelter directly behind the Netherlands Film and Television Academy -- just about as close to home as they could get. Here, they filmed the faces of pedestrians absorbed in their own thoughts, their expressions focused to infinity -- people so far away that they seem to have no facial expression at all. Director Menno Otten, who won the Best Documentary award in St. Petersburg for Nachtwake, makes something great from the small things around us.


  • 20 min
  • color
  • video
Menno Otten
Derk-Jan Warrink for Nederlandse Film Academie
Lennart Verstegen
Saskia Kievits
Evelien van der Molen

IDFA history

IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

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IDFA history

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