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Lowlands 2009

  • Peter Thompson
  • January 1, 2009
  • 52 mins
  • English
Lowlands explores the fragility of domestic and creative life in time of war. Its focus is Catharina Bolnes, wife and widow of 17th century painter, Johannes Vermeer of Delft. The film explores her struggle to ensure the family’s survival during the France-Netherlands War (1672-1675), and the bankruptcy she declares after Vermeer’s death leaves her with no income and ten minor children. The film is built from varied sources including paintings of Catharina by Vermeer; etchings depicting Louis XIV’s policy of rape warfare; reenactments of legal depositions by the Vermeer family about domestic violence, forged paintings and bankruptcy; archival b/w films taken in Delft during WWII; contemporary color footage tracking the movements of Louis XIV’s army near Delft in 1672; a deposition by a perpetrator of rape warfare at the Criminal Tribunal in the Hague in 1996….

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