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John Appel

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John Appel retrospective in Mexico

7 August 2014

From August 7 to 14, the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City pays homage to the Dutch documentary filmmaker John Appel with a retrospective. The retrospective consists of eight films from the extensive work of Appel. The filmmaker will be present in Mexico City. He will attend some of the screenings of his films and meet with the audience. Finally, he will give a workshop to students of the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. The retrospective is organized in collaboration with EYE International.

The program opens with Wrong Time, Wrong Place (2012), Apple's latest film, on the Norwegian island shootings by Anders Breivik. The film is an essay on the insignificance of life and the role played by chance. The film was previously selected for the prestigious HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival.

John Appel acquired large (inter)national prominence with his film about a Dutch singer: André Hazes - She Believes in Me (1999). The film was awarded the Joris Ivens Award at IDFA for best documentary. Torch songs are one of the themes in his work, and also forms the leitmotif of the film about the Dutch accordionist Johnny Meijer (1993).

In an interview Apple says about his own work: "For critical films you should not be with me. My films are about remembrance, melancholy, loneliness and death." These themes are evident in Trench of Death (1999), in which Apple interviews five Belgian soldiers who survived the trenches of the First World War. And in The Promised Land (2000), in which he searches for the story behind the newspaper article "Man lies dead in flat for a month." Memory and melancholy also play an important role in Phoenix´s Ashes (2010) on personal property lost during the fire in a warehouse in Amsterdam. And The Last Victory (2003) about the Palio, the famous annual horse race in Siena (Italy).

The program concludes with The Player (2009), a personal film about gambling addiction, based on memories of his gambling father. The  film screened at many international festivals and received several international awards. The documentary was voted best Dutch film at IDFA.

For the complete program, see: www.cinetecanacional.net

- End of press release -

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