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still from Moeder Dao, de schildpadgelijkende (Vincent Monnikendam, NL 1995)

Moeder Dao, de schildpadgelijkende

Vincent Monnikendam / NL, 1995 / 88 min.

On the occasion of her exhibition Mountains and Molehills, artist Fiona Tan selected a film close to her heart: Mother Dao, the Turtlelike (1995) by Vincent Monnikendam, compiled from silent films that paint a picture of the former Dutch East Indies.

poster Fiona Tan: keuzefilm Moeder Dao, de schildpadgelijkende (Vincent Monnikendam, NL 1995)

Monnikendam viewed no less than 260,000 metres of nitrate film, filmed

often for propaganda purposes. His selection of extraordinary archive material consists of shots of the landscape, of plantations and industry showing colonial exploitation, and the presence of Europeans in their immaculate helmets and tropical suits. Monnikendam also selects fragments that shock us now, such as those of two young children smoking a cigarette.

The film focuses on how the Netherlands governed in Indonesia between 1912 and 1933 – running a colonial enterprise showing what the balance of power was like at the time. The title Mother Dao refers to the creation story according to the inhabitants of the island of Nias, told at the beginning of the film.

Prior to this screening, at 19:15, there will be a screening of Fiona Tans May You Live in Interesting Times with an introduction by film critic Dana Linssen. Tickets for this programme are available separately.

This is part of



Vincent Monnikendam

Production year




Original title

Moeder Dao, de schildpadgelijkende


88 min.







Part of

Fiona Tan

Fiona Tan is known for her video and film installations in which she explores memory, history, globalisation and the role of images.

Learn more
Fiona Tan, Gray Glass (2020), still, 3 channel 4K video installation, black & white, 3 x mono, courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London
still from Moeder Dao, de schildpadgelijkende (Vincent Monnikendam, NL 1995)
still from Moeder Dao, de schildpadgelijkende (Vincent Monnikendam, NL 1995)
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