2016

Getuigen van Piraeus. (60′)
Geschokt door de beelden van de vluchtelingen in Griekenland besluit ik samen met zes vrouwen spontaan te gaan helpen. In het illegale kamp in de haven van Piraeus zijn officiële instanties afwezig. De ‘organisatie’ draait op vrijwilligers die uit de hele wereld…
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV

Zen and the Art of Compassion (30′)
Ama SamyFr. AMA Samy (Arul Maria Arokiasamy) was born of poor Indian parents in Burma in 1936. As a boy he came into some contact with Burmese Buddhism and Buddhist monks. Back in India after the War, he was brought up for a few years by his maternal grandfather, who was a devotee of a Muslim saint and was caring for the burial shrine of the saint. The grandfather died in an accident leaving the young boy without support and guidance. However, the boy finished school and joined the Jesuits.
Fr. AMA Samy spends a few months every year abroad, mostly in Europe, teaching and helping his students (see the sesshin list). He is the founder of Bodhi Sangha.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV

 

2015

A Sense of Urgency (60’)
Joan Jiko Halifax (1942) is an American Zen Buddhist teacher, anthropologist, human rights activist, author and terminal care worker. She is a driving force of socially engaged Buddhism in the world. Besides running the Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico, a community she opened in 1990, she spent more than forty years working with the dying, helping them through the final phase.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV

Een meester in moskou (30’)
Zenmeester Ton Lathouwers heeft zijn fascinatie voor Rusland nooit onder stoelen of banken gestoken. Ook binnen zijn zenbeoefening blijft de Russische literatuur en religie hem inspireren. Voor het eerst sinds bijna vijftig jaar keert hij terug naar het land. De reis voert langs plekken en mensen die een belangrijke rol speelden in zijn visie op zen en spiritualiteit. Naarmate de reis vordert komen we steeds dichter op de huid van deze onorthodoxe zenleraar.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV

 

2014

 

Sri Lanka, het geschonden paradijs (30’)
Sri Lanka is het enige land waar het boeddhisme ononderbroken levend is gehouden. Hoe heeft er dan toch een zeer gewelddadige burgeroorlog kunnen ontstaan tussen de boeddhistische Singalese meerderheid en de Tamil (Hindoe) minderheid? Sri Lanka, het geschonden paradijs, volgt de grillige loop van een oeroude religie in de geschiedenis, waar ook Nederland een beslissende rol in speelde.Sri Lanka is niet alleen bekend van de thee en witte stranden, het is ook het land waar Boeddha’s toespraken voor het eerst op schrift werden gesteld. Nog steeds floreert het boeddhisme er, ondanks 500 jaar kolonisatie.De Nederlandse VOC nam in de zeventiende eeuw het koloniale stokje over van de Portugezen, aangetrokken door de handel in specerijen. En passant redde de VOC in die tijd de Theravada kloosterordes op Ceylon, door op verzoek een schip vol monniken uit Birma te halen. Dat leverde de VOC goodwill en dus meer handel op. De VOC liet behalve forten en kanalen ook nakomelingen na: de Burghers. Naast de Tamils en Moslims vormen zij de derde minderheidsgroep.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV

 On pilgrimage with Cees Nooteboom (30’)
Cees Nooteboom wrote his book Saigoku about the 33-temple pilgrimage in the wide surroundings of Kyoto. What did the famous Dutch writer find on his path?
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV

 

2013

 

The Far East in the West (60’)
In 2012 a quiet revolution took place at the Free University (VU) in Amsterdam. A new discipline was established in the former academic stronghold of the protestant church: Buddhist philosophy. Zen Buddhist André van der Braak was appointed as the first professor. Pat van Boeckel followed him during his first steps on his new path.
That path leads immediately to the Far East, as Van der Braak, on behalf of the VU, travels to China, for an exchange with the Renmin University of Beijing. Cycling through Beijing he witnesses the revival of Chinese Buddhism, having been under pressure from the Communist regime between 1949 and the 1908s.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS).

 

2012

 

Halleluhah! Leonard Cohen is back (60’)
A documentary and concert film by Armelle Brusq and Pat van Boeckel on the legendary singer-songwriter, poet and Buddhist. Right at the point when one would perhaps wonder where he had gone, he returned to the stage. Even now, almost eighty years old, Leonard Cohen is back in the spotlight with a convincing comeback both to friend and foe. His voice has slowly grown older, but still carries with ease the strong lyrics of his new album Old Ideas.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS).

 

The silence moves (2 x 10’)
Two short stories involving modern dance as part of a museum exhibition.
Camera / direction / editing.
Commissioned by Het Valkhof Museum, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

 

2011

 

Time passes (55’)
Portrait of American author Peter Matthiessen. His Snow Leopard is one of the most popular travel books ever written. This depiction of an expedition through the Himalayas received the American National Book Award in 1980. Together with filmmaker Pat van Boeckel, Peter Matthiessen, the biologist, environmental activist, world traveller and student of Zen Buddhism, looks back on his life. He recalls, among other things, his exceptional meeting with the Dalai Lama, his discovery of a giant whale bone on the beach, and the time he spent half a century ago with war waging Papuans.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS).

 

Shifting boundaries in Mongolia (30’)
In this documentary, two people travel to Mongolia, a Buddhist country that appeals to the imagination because of its vast desert, centuries-old cloisters and its tough history. Dentist Joost van Vlijmen provides basic dental care in places where it is most needed. At the same time, Frysian singer and songwriter Nynke Laverman has a residence in Mongolia looking for new inspiration.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS).

 

2010

 

The roaming painter (30’)
A portrait of Frysian painter Dirk Kerst Koopmans, a son of a poor farmer. As a youngster he left for Argentina and became a skilled artist. Upon his return in the 1920s he lived in a shack amidst the bogs in the south of the Dutch province of Frysland and made a daily painting of his environment. Ninety years later, an Argentinean artist pays homage to him in the same bog, which has now been turned into a nature reserve.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on TV Fryslan.

 

The body as teacher (40’)
Two approaches to the human body: one by a world-famous artist and the other by a young doctor in a Buddhist hospital in Taiwan. Sculptor Antony Gormley has been using his body as the basis for his work for the past thirty years. Most elementary, he says: “The body is more than a stone.” His body has become the fundamental instrument through which he expresses himself. Lee Ning Ning is a young doctor in training in a hospital in Taiwan. She initiates us into the special approach of her hospital to use the body for medical study. The dead body isn’t reduced to merely an object, but cherished as a source of life.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS).

 

2009

 

Walking with Kukai (30’)
The famous pilgrim road on Shikoku, Japan, was founded by Kukai in 885. Today thousands of people follow his trail.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS), shown on IBFF Filmfestival (London).

 

2008

 

Life is on the street (30’)
Double portrait of two people who have shifted their work area to the street. Photographer Stef Renodeyn and Zen teacher Frank de Waele talk about their experiences: photographing the homeless and guiding a meditation retreat on the city streets of Belgium.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS).

 

Between praying and batik (30’)
The twenty nuns of the Lioba Monastery in Egmond, the Netherlands make a living of their artwork. They tell about the common grounds between art and religion.
Camera / direction / editing.
Commissioned by the Lioba Monastery.

 

Landart Falster-Lolland (20’)
Registration of the activities of six land art artists in the Faster-Lolland Landart festival 2009.
Camera / direction.
Commisioned by Landart Falstar-Lolland.

 

2007

 

Thousand Hands (30’)
The Dutch physician Jarl Eschauzier has an internship in a Buddhist hospital in Taiwan. Especially the enthusiasm of the hundreds of volunteers and antiauthoritarian attitude of the doctors touch him deeply.

Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS), shown on KOS filmfestival, Greece (2009).

 

Holland Plusmin
Project with 80 high school students in filmmaking, commissioned by CBK Flevoland, the Netherlands. Each student made a one minute film on their mobile phone with the theme: a Dutch identity.
Part of the Fort Europa exhibition in Almere.
Commissioned by Cultural Centre Corrosia.

 

2006

 

Enter at your own risk (30’)
Documentary about the making of new land (polder) in the sea. It is more than 60 years ago that the Noordoostpolder came into being in the former Zuider sea. The pioneers worked in harsh conditions, shovelling the canals by hand in the vast sand land. They thought they could earn themselves a farm. The documentary follows 4 pioneer polder residents who are well into their eighties, but they remember their adventures as if they happened yesterday.
Commission of Flevolandschap/Province of Flevoland.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Regional TV.

 

Falling silent (30’)
Bieke Vanderkerkhoven was 19 years old when she was attacked by a rare muscular disease which left her only one year to live. She decided to live intensively that year and joined a monastery in Egmond. The silence brought her to a new life and her disease to an unexpected standstill.
Camera / direction / editing.
Broadcasted on Dutch public TV (BOS).

 

2005

 

How art catches a rabbit (30’)
Documentary about an environmental art project. In the film a number of artists are followed in National Park the Weerribben while making art of natural materials. Their mission is to attract extinct wildlife.
Camera / direction / editing.
Commissioned by Rerun Productions.