RIFF Movies Archive

'The way it is'

Netherlands, 2006, 16mm - Color - 30

Elizabeth Salgado

Elizabeth Salgado

Coen Stroeve

Faye de Wilde

Anne la Berge

Gijs Stollman

Frieder Wallis

Frieder Wallis

Dutch Film & TV Academy


Zo is dat is a short documentary about a year in the life of 73 year old farmer Jan. Throughout the 4 seasons the film gives an impression of life as it used to be.Jan, 73, is exactly as flat as Groningen's landscape where he lives. He is used to changeable weather and goes on with his daily routine in every climate. Whatever happens.Jan owns a quite large plot but does little business. From the generations who ran the farm before him, he learned that’s it’s all about gaining just enough. No more but also no less. No unnecessary luxury and no big ambitions, just hard work in order to survive in a worthy manner. If there occurs some extra income Jan stores it at the bank, in case something bad happens. He is just as economical as mother earth in wintertime. 100% normal, 100% Dutch. “There’s a moment for everything” is a typical quote of Jan en accordingly, there is a moment for everything in Jan’s day. On his farm the days seem very much alike but tiny details make the difference: once a week Jan goes out to play some sjoelen, a Dutch traditional game with wodden pieces on a big board. Every friday it’s time for a chicken soup and sunday is – except feeding the cows – a day of rest. Women? In Dutch society is mostly the women who take the initiative. If no woman approaches you... The only thing to say then are excuses: “I never had the time for it” or in Jan’s case: “She didn’t want to, yep, everybody is free in their decisions. That’s how is is.” Jan leads a beautiful calm life on his own ground in Lettelbert in the northern province of Groningen. One could see the fact that he still is a bachelor as a lack but on the other hand: If you never tasted one single strawberry in your life, how could you possibly ever miss their taste, then?

In 2006 has Elizabeth Rocha Salgado her graduation at the Dutch Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam with the short documentary ‘Zo is dat’ (The way it is). She was born in Brazil at the state of Minas Gerais where she graduated in radio and television communications at the University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. For one and a half year she worked at the radio and as a independent video maker. After making several short movies she decided to study cinema in Amsterdam. At the Dutch Film academy she made a lot of shorts and two long films in video. With ‘Zo is dat she got her first award.




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