The Maelstrom: A Family Chronicle  26 October 2007

Documentary by Péter Forgács

Starting on Friday 26 October 2007, The Maelstrom: A Family Chronicle (1997) by the Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács will be shown daily at the Hollandsche Schouwburg. In this documentary, Forgács uses authentic home movies and amateur films to lend immediacy to the historical events of the 1930s and 40s. On 29 November in The Hague, Forgács will receive the Erasmus Prize for the original way in which his documentaries have contributed to the transmission of culture and the remembrance of the past.

In The Maelstrom: A Family Chronicle, Forgács uses home movies by the Dutchman Max Peereboom (1911-1942), who filmed events from the daily life of his Jewish family from 1932 to 1942. These intimate family scenes alternate with Peereboom's films of historical events of his day, such as Queen Wilhelmina's forty-year jubilee and the funeral of Chief Rabbi Abraham Samson Onderwijzer. Amid these scenes, Forgács weaves footage, radio broadcasts and photos from a camp run by Dutch Nazis, as well as amateur films of the Reichskommissar for the Netherlands, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, with his family. Then all at once, there are no more images of the Peereboom family; all of them were deported. The youngest son, Simon Peereboom, was the only one to survive the war. The composer Tibor Szemzõ wrote the hushed and often ominous score for the film.

This 60-minute documentary will be on continuous display in the entrance hall of the Hollandsche Schouwburg, every day until 9 April 2008, with thanks to the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation and Lumen Film.

The Hollandsche Schouwburg is one of the most important Dutch monuments commemorating the persecution of the Jews. In 1942 and 1943, thousands of Jewish men, women and children were rounded up there to be deported. More than 100,000 Dutch Jews, out of a total population of 140,000, were murdered in concentration and extermination camps.

The opening will take place on Thursday 25 October from 17.00 to 19.00 at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, with an address by Professor Ernst van Alphen (Leiden University). If you plan to attend, please notify us in advance using the telephone number or e-mail address below.

For images or additional information, please contact:
Hollandsche Schouwburg
Communication Department
T +31 20 531 0372
Communication Hollandsche Schouwburg 

Hollandsche Schouwburg, Plantage Middenlaan 24, 1001 RE Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Open daily from 11.00 to 16.00