Part of Reality Transformed

Het Leeg

Didier Volckaert

(Belgium, 1997, video, 8:00)

What should have been a documentary about La Mancha turned into a poetic evocation of Don Quichotte’s imaginary struggle. Things start going wrong right from the start, with the first windmill. Alert as a skinless eye, paying particularly close attention to the minutest of details, and always anticipating the prover-bial battering, the camera focuses on a set of windmill sails, at rest and apparently harmless. The windmills reveal their true nature when viewed through a piece of dirty glass. Rudimentary images are used to describe the desolate landscape – coarse gravel, a cave, an army of ants, a ruined castle on a hill. The film is completed by words which thrust themselves up out of fragments from Cervantes’ book. The final surge of romantic music is accompanied by a foolhardy bull, which runs towards us.


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