Above Us All

Not available for screening anymore

Above Us All

Directed by Eugenie Jansen

  • Netherlands, Belgium 2014; 99 min
  • Original version: Flemish, English
  • Genre: Drama


After the death of her Indigenous mother, the eleven year old Shay is taken by her Flemish father from Australia to Ypres, Belgium. In the surroundings, full of traces of the Great War, Shay tries to understand her mother’s death. In the meantime the camera is spinning around in circles questioning about our position in time and space.

Director's Statement

There is a beautiful Aboriginal dreamtime story in which the narrator asks two men what they think will happen to them when they die. One hopes to be a star on the firmament, as a comfort for the people below. The other man believes he will change into a blue fish and sink to the bottom of the ocean.

When the two men have died, the narrator goes looking for them. He finds one as a star high in the sky and the other lies as a blue fish on the sea bed.

The screenplay by Kim Niekerk is based on personal experience: the death of her mother and her move with her father from Indonesia to Europe. Patrick Minks adapted the screenplay and turned Australia into the mother country. In his version, the father became an astrono- mer working at the Narrabri radio telescopes (in New South Wales). We chose the Belgian town of Ypres as the European Antipodes. In Ypres, the echo of the First World War still sounds in everyday life.






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