La Rose Blanche
Michiel Vijselaar & Tjarda Sixma, 1988, 21'34''

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La Rose Blanche relates the tricky adventures of a young married couple on holiday in an Arab country. The woman, 'la rose blanche', is kidnapped by a sultan and is imprisoned in his harem. Of course she lives in mortal fear and longs to be back with her family. But all's well that ends well and finally, with the help of the other women in the harem, she manages to escape and is reunited with her husband. The sultan is murdered by the other women and thus receives his just deserts. Everything is overdone and theatrical in this kitschy drama: the acting, the staging, etc.. The story consciously recreates our stereotyped and cliché-ed idea of Arab culture so that by its apparent confirmation, we are cunningly forced to confront our prejudices.

The makers the
selves see La Rose Blanche as an extension of Hochzeit im Schnee. The story is about an equally clichéd event as in Hochzeit im Schnee, namely the kidnapping of a blonde tourist in Turkey by a sultan's bodyguard. Sixma and Vijselaar were inspired for this tape by the Angélique films, but the fairy tales of a thousand and one nights and other cliché images from penny novels also play a role. The film lasts 22 minutes and is therefore significantly longer than the previous one. There is a course in the story and a certain tension arises that culminates in a surprising climax. There is still no speaking in the film, but the music, made by Bernard Jongstra, occupies a very important place. Both artists say about these films that they want to express their mixed feelings about the statements made in the said films. In their opinion, it is all too easy to simply dismiss the cliché images that are presented to us as nonsense. It is very strange that Angélique films, or films about Sissi, are still so popular. Why do women like to watch movies in which women are kidnapped as white slaves and men are presented as tough heroes or brutal savages? Maybe everyone in their heart thinks that your wedding day should be the best day of your life.
They emphatically do not want to take a position or be moralizing. They also want their own sense of doubt
of this kind of intrusive symbolism. Everything is mixed up in the videos: the feeling of how they experienced the film in the past, the dream they had as a child as a result of such a film and how they currently view the type of films. They think it's interesting to explore what the movies look like when you fully understand what's going on.

The latter film is thus clearly different from the first, in the sense that the 'tableau-vivant'-like symbolic character has been changed into a film with a beginning and an end, with even a real plot. You could also say that the films have developed from an abstract, symbolic style in which a statement was made, to a more narrative one. A remarkable development in the context of the visual arts. In most cases, a development looks the other way around, namely from figurative to abstract. However, because the story is so well known, it can be assumed that the public pays more attention to the underlying messages than to the story itself.

  • Date: 1988
  • Length: 21'34''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA