De Schattenberg Documentary film, 2007, 80 min.

They were expecting a nice hotel, but instead arrived at the barracks of WW II transit camp Westerbork in 1950. After gaining independence in 1949, Indonesian Dutchmen had the choice: become Indonesian or remain Dutch and leave for Holland. Along with two Dutch-Indonesian families, including her mother, filmmaker Monique Verhoeckx revisits the former transit camp. Travelling together on a nice old bus, they seem to be on a pleasurable family outing. Their reunion with Westerbork, later renamed De Schattenberg (Treasure Mountain), evokes all kinds of contradictory memories. Of Indonesia, where some of them survived the Japanese camps, and of the little hospitable welcome in the Netherlands. The eight telescopes standing on the grounds act as metaphorical time machines; an astronomer talks about the origin of the universe. With the help of a computer, archive footage of the colonial period is mixed with images of the Dutch landscape and old pictures. A poignant portrait of a little known chapter in Dutch history.

 

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