Holland Doc 24

Holland Doc 24

Film student Sjoerd Tanghe portrayed his father, the famous Flamisch theatre director Dirk Tanghe. His documentary shows that fame and artistic success also have their dark sides: his father has an alcohol problem and every now and then he is very depressed. Sjoerd films his father during his stay in a rehabilitation clinic.

What inspires you to make documentaries?

I am always fascinated with every kind of people. I like to show them as real people. For example, I could have made a glorification of my father, about how wonderful and full of fantasy he is. Then, however, I should miss the other side of him, the tragic part. I am always looking for that balance. People have two sides, which I try to catch in my documentaries. I work with my intuition. Sometimes I have the feeling that coincidence has an important role in my work.

How was it to work with your father?

A lot of people think: "Oh! How nice! Your dad is a director! Then you must be rich! That has to be fun!" That is not true. It all seems fantastic, but when I saw my dad in his depressive periodes, frustrated by everything that has to do with theatre, that is something you do not want to experience. Dirk Tanghe is a very interesting person to make a documentary about, just because he is so complex and fascinating. But making a film as being his son, makes it even more interesting. This challenge was the reason to make the film: to show the world I can do something like making this film, to expose something about myself to a big audience.

How did the film process go?

After two and a half year film school I had to make a graduation film. Then, however, my father went again through a difficult time. We already expected it but it was getting worse. I tried to repress it but eventually it began to play a big role in my life that I couldn't think of anything else. Then I thought, if I cannot repress it, why not making a film about it? But it wasn't that easy: there was no line or structure, just an idea. In the beginning I was very emotional. When I had to present my idea I did burst into tears. But I was a hundred percent sure that as I once started I know exactly what I want.

How did people receive Me will always be me?

A lot of teachers were afraid of my father taking over the control and making a film the way he wanted. And he did come with old photos and interviews. But I told my father immediately: "Dad, it is about the presence! Not about the past!" People were also afraid of me getting to emotionally involved; that I was making some sort of therapeutic film about my father, which nobody else but me could understand. I can understand these doubts, but I knew what I wanted and I knew I could do this. Although, I was very nervous during the exam. I walked into the room and sat down in front of the jury. It was quiet. I started to get a bad feeling. Then, they told me that they had no comments and that the loved the film. After five minutes I was standing outside again. That was a wonderful feeling!


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