“I’ve been saving things for as long as I remember”,
says Digna Sinke, film director and self-proclaimed hoarder. “Because I like it, because I admire it, because it may be useful. But my cupboards are full of files, and box files full of meeting documents, sugar sachets and letters. Boxes and suitcases full of old toys. Old stuff from my grandmother’s attic.”
Digna’s own mother is of a similar disposition, and rejoices at the rediscovery of objects from her past. “This was in front of the stove at Grandma Leik’s”,
she recalls fondly when presented with a threadbare rug. Other items bring back similarly happy memories. “This is Ma’s bag she used for shopping… Ah, your bridal clutch… Ah, my little flat-iron.”
Each item is greeted with smiles like a long-lost friend.
They both know that not everybody feels the same way. In fact, there are the beginnings a movement to a post-materialist world, where possessions lose the importance that they once held. “It feels as if things are changing”,
says Digna. “That saving things is now seen as being a bit odd, maybe even pathological, a personality disorder.
To investigate this transition in mentality she travels to Missouri to visit Colin Wright, a public speaker and self-styled minimalist who believes that excessive possessions weigh us down. “The idea that you have to own specific things is a really harmful ideology”,
he proclaims. Yet “for thousands of years, things, possessions, had value”, reflects Digna. “If you had lots of possessions, you were rich, successful... Today, is it the number of followers you have that gives you prestige and power?
Whether this transition will free us from the responsibilities that possessions entail, or whether it will cause us to lose a vital part of our collective and personal heritage, remains to be seen. For Digna, keeping or discarding things "may be the ultimate metaphor for life. Ambitions, dreams, hopes and expectations. Ultimately time catches up with all of them.... Keeping things is about life and death.”
Reviews and More
For a Q&A
with director Digna Sinke, see here
International Film Festival Rotterdam - Official Selection
DOK Leipzig Festival - Official Selection