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Bela Bela - Ik heb het leven nodig

Documentary film, 2001, 73 min.

Four poets: a Russian man, a Russian woman, a Rumanian and a Cuban. All four of them won the Poetry International Award of Honour for poets in captivity. Now, they are free and talk about their time in prison and in particular about their sensory perceptions: in jail, everything looks drab, it does not smell of woman, the Russian says, and never of youth, and the sounds are those of footsteps and bars. Director Marjoleine Boonstra interweaves the impressions into a universal portrait of confinement. The interviewees speak softly about a hard past, about the sorrowful but powerful way in which human dignity survived human cruelty. The documentary breathes a contemplative atmosphere, with the recited poems, the music and the images of an indefinable ruin where the interviews were shot.

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