Niek Nicolaes | Netherlands 2022 | 67 Min. | Aja, Afrikaans with Engl. subtitles

MONDAY, 08.05. | 5pm
Votiv Kino, Gr. Saal | TICKETS

Austrian Premiere

In presence of Niek Nicolaes

© Herma Darmstadt

Animistic Vodun culture is ever present in the West African village of Kenou and shapes daily life in the village. Tassi, the oldest inhabitant of the village, is the Vodun priestess who maintains contact with the ancestors on behalf of the community. Before important decisions are made or to protect the community from harm, the ancestors must be consulted. 

The film follows the rhythm of daily life in Kenou and, in close collaboration with the inhabitants, portrays a community that continues a life deeply rooted in animistic traditions. Niek Nicolaes succeeds in capturing the complexity and poetics of Vodun in vivid and evocative images.

Director: Niek Nicolaes
Camera: Herma Darmstadt
Editing: Niek Nicolaes, Ilonka de Koning
Sound: Niek Nicolaes
Production: Niek Nicolaes

Niek Nicolaes was born in 1952 in the Netherlands. He studied clinical psychology and philosophy of science but in his 30s he decided to leave everything behind, seeking adventure and made his first travel crossing the Sahara with an old van. During this travel he is greatly impressed andfascinated by the strength and hospitality of the Africans and their way of facing life. Many moretrips followed, together with his wife and photographer Herma Darmstadt.
Since 2016 the couple frequent the small village of Kenouhoué in Benin as part of a collaborativeproject. When the inhabitants were exposed to Western perspectives on their culture through the creators, the idea for a film collaboration was born. Something which once started as a wild fantasy has developed into a wayward film four years later.
By now, the inhabitants are convinced that the creators of the film were sent by the vodun and their ancestors with a special mission: to bridge the gap between their world and the Western world.
Coincidence doesn’t exist for the people in Kenouhoue.
Coincidence only exists for people who do not want to know.
The film is his directing debut and was shot during several shooting periods from 2017-2021.
It was made independently and in full collaboration with the villagers.