The Open City Documentary Festival, taking place across London between the 5th and 10th of September 2017, will present three films by Belgian filmmaker Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd
: Lost Land (2011), For the Lost (2014) and The Eternals
(2017). The films, shot mostly on 16mm and Super 8, are poetic essays exploring the lives of those affected by exile, conflict, loss, and the ecology of harsh environments, hauntingly soundtracked by British Avant-Garde musician Richard Skelton
. Ahead of the festival I interviewed Vandeweerd concerning the aesthetic and thematic connections between his films, his anthropological approach and the role of language in his cinema.Notebook: You’ve studied anthropology, amongst other subjects, and you’ve worked as a teaching assistant in a Philosophy and Literature department. What led you to utilize filmmaking as an extension of your research? Pierre-yves Vandeweerd
: The first area I worked in as an anthropologist, at the beginning of the 90s, was Niger in West Africa.