“Paradise Drifters” – Interview mit Mees Peijnenburg

“Paradise Drifters” – Interview mit Mees Peijnenburg

Am 5. Tag im 5. Stock des Berlinale Palasts treffe ich mich mit dem niederländischen Regisseur Mees Peijnenburg für ein sehr sympathisches Interview über Filmfestivals, das Filmemachen und sein neuestes Werk Paradise Drifters: Drei obdachlose junge Menschen machen sich zusammen auf eine Reise durch Südeuropa – immer auf der Suche nach Halt und emotionaler Bindung.

Film ohne Grenzen

Der niederländische Regisseur Mees Peijnenburg

Der niederländische Regisseur Mees Peijnenburg

How are you enjoying the Berlinale so far? What struck you most?

The Berlinale is very special to me. I’ve been here two times before with two short films, but Paradise Drifters is my first feature film, so it’s been the most beautiful trip so far. What struck me most so far was our international premiere we had yesterday. The audience, the reactions, the whole feeling during screening was spectacular. Yeah, it was really cool!

How many films did you watch so far?

Zero. Only my own. I’ll have a lot of time after tomorrow, so from tomorrow on I’ll see a lot of films. It starts off with a lot of meetings and a lot of people to see and then I just dive into it.

Wherein do you see the potential in film festivals in general. What can we take from them?

The beauty of a lot of film festivals is that there are no borders in film. You get so many insights in beautiful topics, stories or heartbreaking, intense journeys from the whole world. Places I’ve never known, places I’ve never seen, places I’ve never heard of and suddenly I’m engaged in these emotional rollercoasters of people. And this is what film festivals bring to me always. It broadens my horizon, my insight in humans, and my filmmaking perspective.

What drove you into making film?

I started off as a skateboarder and I wasn’t really a good skateboarder, but my friends were good, so I started filming them. And then I really enjoyed filming. Slowly this evolved and I started filming my dog and people around me. Then I went to film school in the Netherlands and my graduation film was screened at the Berlinale in 2014.

How did you make it to the Berlinale with your film at such a young age?

I don’t know. We submitted it. And then we got our invitation which was spectacular obviously. It was the first time we traveled abroad with a film and got the opportunity to screen it to such a beautiful, heartwarming audience. It was so overwhelming.

You’re both an actor and director. What do you like better?

I acted after high school for a little bit, I don’t act anymore. Then I started to enjoy being behind the camera. So, it’s obviously directing. But my most preferred thing is to work with actors.

And could you imagine doing both in one film?

No. I enjoy too much working with actors. I don’t see myself yet in my own film.

In Paradise Drifters we see young adults touring Southern Europe. What inspired you to send them on a journey like that?

The inspiration comes from a lot of research. I did extensive research about kids in need within the Netherlands. And so many interesting and beautiful stories came across. We started to look at where they go and where they end up. We did a research tour for this film with the exact same route: How do they travel, where do they sleep at night, how does it work? We focused on these three kids but there is a world of others around still.

Do you think the film would have worked giving the narrative a straight line instead of an elliptical one?

I hope so. We went for the elliptic and fragmented structure because the lives of our characters have no fundament, no backdrop, no home. We want to show this to our audience in the purest form. For me it adds a lot to the story that it’s disbalanced all the way through. With a straight line it would be a completely different journey.

Looking at the film and how there is a human desire to want to share life together. What would you tell people in their early 20s that fear never to find happiness and love in life? Is there something we can take from the film?

Wow, it’s a beautiful question. Instead of making a statement I would like to say something personal. I can’t live life by myself. I can’t do it by myself. I need people around me. There are so many beautiful people on the planet, there are so many horrible people – but don’t focus on the bad things all the time. Say hello to your neighbors, say hello to the people behind the desk at any counter. Just a simple blink in an eye can lighten your day. Be kind to one another. Embrace it.

► Alle Beiträge zur Themenwoche Berlinale 2020

Fotos: Valentina Keller
Veröffentlicht am 26. Februar 2020

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