Empire: Migrants is on a tight production schedule: we’re setting up quick shoots in Brazil, Suriname, and Ghana, and won’t have time to edit our footage until this summer.
Luckily, the Public Archive of Espirito Santo took us in for a presentation about our work anyway. We struggled our way through an hour long explanation of Empire while showing video stills and video clips, as you can see in the photos.
Special thanks to Thiago Moulin for being our translator that evening! Photos: Carla Caliman.
An American filmmaker and filmed the Dutch town of Holland, in Santa Leopoldina for a documentary that seeks the roots of Dutch colonization in the world. The video will be presented on Monday, the 17h, the State Public File.”
…are our new favorite people. Behold 9 video stills from the latest film in the “Empire” series.
This new film tells the story of Holanda, an isolated community in rural Brazil. Established by a handful of Dutch immigrants in the mid 1800’s, Holanda has endured into the 21st century through a combination of rugged determination and flagrant inbreeding.
Holanda’s girls are the community’s pride and joy. Most don’t work the land like the rest of their families. Instead, they stay inside and study, or pass long hours painting their nails and watching television.
Their leisure comes at a price. Expectations are high for the latest generation of Holanda’s women. For the first time in the town’s history, parents are hoping to see their children receive university acceptance letters and pursue careers in the city. They are being nudged out of the nest, and encouraged to find a life outside of Holanda.
Principal photography in Brazil wrapped on March 24th, 2012.
In the mid-nineteenth century, after the abolition of the foreign slave trade, a newly independent Brazil was facing a population problem. The freshly-minted country was enormous and fertile, and yet almost no one wanted to move from the coasts to cultivate the interior. Enter waves of colonists from Europe, including a handful from the economic fringes of the Dutch provence of Zeeland.
Lured by the promise of prosperity, a few hundred of these Dutch migrants arrived in the state of Espirito Santo between 1858 and 1862. They carved out a place for themselves in the mountains, a Protestant enclave far from the coastal Catholics. They worked the land as best they could, and were rewarded by visits from snakes and malaria.
The settlers named their colony “Holanda” and we’ll be hanging out there for the next three weeks.