Isle of Sien

Sien, a bird of paradise. On an old tape recorder, the Dutch life-drawing model (74) records her memories, poems and thoughts for her new friend, the filmmaker Karim Ouri. From her hideout on the island of Vlieland, where she camps for months every year, Sien recounts her turbulent life as a model, squatter, activist and mother living in Amsterdam in the 1960s and 1970s.

The colourful world of Sien was often met with misunderstanding and aggression from those on the outside. Sien’s life, its joys and freedoms, has proved to be a hard-won right by her and her two sons, who listen in turn to their mother’s tapes. The film weaves archival footage from the housing shortage and emerging counterculture of the 1960s with the early pages of Sien’s story and her young family. The captivating island of Vlieland is a canvas for a profound portrait of this free-spirited woman.

  • Karim Ouri
  • Karim Ouri
  • Karim Ouri
  • Jos Driessen
  • Cas Esders
  • Karim Ouri
  • Evy Vinck
    Art Direction
  • Benno van der Velde
    Sound Design
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Het Pad van Sien
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    39 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 28, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    21,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Arts University Bournemouth
  • Festival du Film Jeune Lyon
    September 15, 2022
    Award: Best Documentary
  • LOODS 6
    August 18, 2022
    Dutch Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Stortemelk
    August 27, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Noordelijk Film Festival
    November 11, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Noordelijk Film Festival
    November 12, 2022
    Award: Best student film
Director Biography - Karim Ouri

Karim Ouri (1989) is an Amsterdam based television and film director of Dutch-Tunisian descent. Karim caught the filmmaker's bug while working in the music industry creating music videos, television programs and concert films. He graduated from MA film practice at Arts University Bournemouth in the U.K.

For his grad film, Isle of Sien, he immersed himself in the 1960s counterculture and squatters' movement. Exploring the influence of this history on today's society, Karim worked with a collection of never-before-seen archive footage while simultaneously following 74-year-old former squatter, model and activist Sien in her daily present life. In his work, Karim is highly interested in the act of memory and the reinforcement of it.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"I started making this film with Sien at the very start of the pandemic. I was already highly interested in counterculture and the squatters movement in Amsterdam and all of Europe. At the same time I came in contact with Sien, a woman from this generation who was now in great risk and isolated alone. I felt compelled to tell her story and that of her generation as it should be told with and by themselves. Karim Ouri (2022) Director of Isle of Sien.