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Kinderen van Stalin

Short documentary, 2006, 52 min.

At one time, seven hundred patients from all corners of the Soviet Union were housed in the Alexander Kajaia Mental Hospital in the Georgian town of Surami. Fifteen years after Georgia gained independence, the psychiatric clinic numbers only thirty male and forty female residents. They are poor as church mice: the plaster comes off the walls, food is scarce and the louse a tough enemy. But above all the vast terrain is dominated by idleness. People have nothing to do; the men and women hang, lie, stand or sit aimlessly about, inside or outside.
The camera goes everywhere, in every room and under every tree it registers the empty existence under lock and key, but also captures the residents' personalities, who have not all lost their sense of reality. Sometimes, they recite beautiful poems, or break into a melancholic song. 'Exploding medicine, hidden in jam of sweet tangerines', a man whispers through bars. A moment like this does not escape director Harrie Timmermans in his wistful documentary.




Cinematographer - DoP


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