Short impressionistic anti-war film to accompany the music of the Opera of the Unspoken, an ancestral experimental opera about WWII in Indonesia, then the Dutch East Indies. The music reflects the fate of my German grandfather, interned by the Dutch, then killed by Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members on his way back to his family in Java after the war had ended. Archival footage and a few family photos are edited with special effects into a rhythmic, dream-like reflection of the central poem, reminiscent of gum bichromate photography.

  • Jeannette Schwager
  • Jeannette Lambert
  • Michel Lambert
  • Reg Schwager
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    jazz, free jazz, experimental, avantgarde
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 2, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    50 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, Indonesia
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Archival
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jeannette Schwager

Jazz vocalist and composer Jeannette Lambert is considered a pioneer of web art and uses her film and multimedia background to add depth to her musical expression. Her short films and web art have been screened internationally.

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Director Statement

Combining music and intuition is at the heart of all that I do and this short film is no different. The imagery is a reflection of my creative process in uncovering a long hidden ancestral story about my paternal grandfather, using dreams plus historical and genealogical research. With the visual effects I reference my mother's love for gum bichromate photography, developing photos with paints and sunlight. While the archival footage depicts the American pilots that helped free Europe from the Nazis (where my mother was in the occupied Netherlands), the story contained within is of civilian Germans interned by the Dutch in Indonesia (the Dutch East Indies at the time). My family was trapped on all sides.