Via Dolorosa

  • Menno Otten
  • Netherlands
  • 2013
  • 15 min
  • World Premiere
  • Paradocs
Each year, pious men stagger through the Via Dolorosa in Malaga. Literally translated, this means the Way of Sadness, but it also refers to the Way of the Cross, Jesus Christ's painful journey through Jerusalem with the cross on his shoulders. In Malaga, the men carry tronos, or heavy platforms containing statues of saints, in a procession through the streets. In contrast to what the name would make us expect, director Menno Otten makes the conscious decision not to show the road at all. Together with cinematographer Lennart Verstegen, he only films close-ups of the men. Right before they bear the weight, you can see the tension. They drink some water, then we hear the signal for them to lift, and they push the weight high on their shoulders. We don't see the statues either, but apparently the colossus is in the air and now they have to start moving. Perhaps it's due to the intensive training or because of the immense amount of weight, but the men heave their way through the streets in perfect harmony – side by side, back to breast. When they transfer the weight from one leg to the other, a whole new gallery of grimaces can be seen. The camera zooms in on them, and the men do the work in the orange glow of the streetlamps.


  • 15 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: No dialogue
Menno Otten
Frank Hoeve for BALDR Film
Lennart Verstegen, Menno Otten
Saskia Kievits
Evelien van der Molen, Cilia Erens

IDFA history

World Premiere

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