Feature documentary

The Passing Years

Editor | 2nd Camera


Dutch author, poet and columnist Remco Campert (b. 1929) still sits at his typewriter every day, despite his advancing age. This veteran of the experimental Dutch literary movement of the early 1950s known as the Vijftigers sees himself mainly as a poet, even though he might be more famous for his columns, short stories and public performances. He has carefully created an image of himself as a charming Sunday's child, loved by everyone. But who is he really? Director John Albert spent a year with Campert, quietly documenting his everyday life (the daily game of scrabble with his wife Deborah, a cup of tea, a cigarette, a glass of wine), as well as more intimate moments such as his admission to the hospital and conversations with his daughters and friends. He turns out to be a man of few words - at least verbally - but his poems tell a story of melancholy, mortality and approaching death. Fortunately, his writing keeps him going: "Poetry is an act of affirmation. I affirm that I am ...