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Onno the Oblivious

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Onno the Oblivious (Onno de onwetende)

Directed by Viktor Van der Valk

  • Netherlands 2014; 29 min
  • Original version: Icelandic, French, Dutch
  • Genre: Short, Drama
    • Orona Award for most Cutting-Edge Film (Student Film Meeting) - San Sebastian IFF
    • Tuschinski Award for Best Graduation Film & Wild Card - Netherlands FF
    • Students of Angers Award for European Student Film - Angers FF

  • From the director of NOCTURNE presented at CineMart
    From the director of THE CAMERA presented at TorinoFilmLab Meeting Event

Synopsis

Onno is stuck. He’s lost. Many questions. Few answers. And on top of that there’s this strange feeling. This feeling that he knows, but doesn’t understand. This feeling that has come to him much earlier, so it didn’t start here. But where? Where did it start? Let me tell you the story of Onno the Oblivious, who has fallen victim to the strange feeling.

Director's Statement

Five years ago I went on an internship to Zambia, in this period I made several short films. In my last week there I fell in love with a Zambian girl. I would love to stay longer to get to know her better, but I heard that something’s weren’t going well at home. And so I took a plane homewards. At home I heard that my dad had cancer, shortly after this a friend of mine committed suicide and the relationship with my Zambian girlfriend also started getting more and more difficult which resulted in doubting this love for the next two years. In short; In this period of my life, my world stood upside down. As a small naïve boy I was suddenly confronted with the harshness of the adult world. A world where I was probably not ready for, or perhaps a world where I was incorrectly prepared for. In this world, I became aware of a strange feeling; a melancholy feeling or perhaps a depressed feeling, as they want to declare often. And since we often tend to want to explain things it was obvious that the feeling found its origin in the period I just mentioned. However I dare to assure you that I don’t lack in joy in life and I’m not inclined to linger for days in bed. So the term depression is not the correct explanation for this feeling. In addition, by thinking long and hard, I’m sure that the origin of this strange feeling didn’t start in this period, because the feeling never started, it has always been there. In my opinion it is a feeling that not only has to do with psychological sadness, but rather the experience of a certain emptiness; solitude and meaninglessness. The feeling often pops up at random moments without certain logic. Showing me that nothing is correct from my acquired logic. However we often tend not to admit this, often we cling to the thought that we have the ability to at any moment maintain control. Because imagine that we would lose control! In my opinion a rather ‘romantic’ idea in our fickle nature of existence. In this film, the narrative focus is mainly about the search for the origin of the strange feeling. Onno begins a journey in which he initially is convinced that there is an origin to be found, but along the journey it appears that no concrete answers can be found. Onno learns to accept that there is no answer about the origin of his strange feeling. He learns to let go of control, imagination turns out to be the plaster on the wound. For me personally this imagination is really important, my love for film and art offers me consolation. Art dares to show me the world with al of his inexplicability’s. They show me that things are often slightly different than they appear at first sight.

Production

  • SOME SHORTS

    Wouter Jansen 

  • MANIAK FILM

    Erik Glijnis