Housewitz

Director/Writer: Oeke Hoogendijk. Produced by Discours Film.

Funding Netherlands Film Fund: Afwerking speelfilm, lange animatie of lange documentaire.

Lous, the mother of filmmaker Oeke Hoogendijk, hasn’t left the house for decades. She has a recurring nightmare in which she doesn’t know how to get home, just like the day when as a Jewish girl she was deported.

Scenes which at first sight seem very ordinary—an elderly woman in a living room watching television with her cat—gradually develop into the troubling portrait of an astute woman who has to live each day with the Holocaust as her housemate. Even the Christmas tree, which makes her as happy as a child, still reminds her of the Westerbork concentration camp.

Through their tragicomic telephone conversations and a web camera in the living room, Oeke brings us exceptionally close to her mother. She opens up to us completely, showing her sadness as well as her sharp sense of humor. The filmmaker maintains this clever balance thanks to delicate editing, interspersing her mother’s camp memories with the joys of a TV travel program and the calming effects of house music.