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Next Masters Competition 2019
Night Has Come Peter Van Goethem

Film snippets from the Royal Belgian Film Archive – combined into a fascinating monologic discourse about individual and collective loss of memory and transience.

Night Has Come

Documentary Film
56 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Peter Krüger
Peter Van Goethem
Guy Van Nueten
Peter Van Goethem
Peter Van Goethem, Peter Verhelst
Frederik Van de Moortel, Guy De Bièvre, Aiko Devriendt
According to recent medical findings, viruses can also cause a weakening or even loss of memory. Such an epidemic is the speculative narrative foundation of this film. The suspicion is uttered by the sonorous voice of an old man, who wakes up after having lost his memory in an unspecified incident and goes on a mental journey into his childhood. But the perspective soon widens to include collective life and conspiracy theories directed against the government – even questions about the last things.

The images illustrating this narrative were made between 1927 and 1998 and are now restored digital copies in the holdings of the Royal Belgian Film Archive. They cover a spectrum from home movies on the beach to the central iconic events of Brussels history, for example the Nazi deportations or the big fire in the “À l’innovation” department store in 1967. But art films, science films and documents of industrial history are also interwoven – with film aesthetics so homogenised that they are, out of their original contexts, convincingly integrated into the suggestively proposed new narrative logic, while always referencing the past, too.

Silvia Hallensleben