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A Place Where Reality Lies

Project details

Philosophy at VU

I tried to make a documentary and got tangled up in the truth. The truth gobbled me up, and there, in the belly of the whale, all of the thick, wet walls looked the same. Sometimes, the truth and its negation look the same. It’s not that we want to lie, it just kind of happens. 

Still from ‘A Place Where Reality Lies’

Even though we might want them to, or sometimes naively believe them to be, documentaries aren’t objective windows onto the real world. They are interpretations, readings, testimonies. But if they can’t be considered accurate depictions of reality, what distinguishes them from fiction? ‘A Place Where Reality Lies’ is a dog chasing its own tail: a documentary, in which a director sets out to investigate how other documentarians go about depicting reality.

Still from ‘A Place Where Reality Lies’

There is no such thing as documentary–whether the term designates a category of material, a genre, an approach or a set of techniques. This assertion–as old and as fundamental as the antagonism between names and reality–needs incessantly to be restated, despite the very visible existence of a documentary tradition.

 – (Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1990) 
Still from ‘A Place Where Reality Lies’


Sherman de Jesus
Barbara Visser
Katharina Smets
Saeed Taji Farouky
Nandisa Ludidi

Still from ‘A Place Where Reality Lies’

Writer & Director – Ciska Meister
Producer – Zoë van der Kust
Director of Photography – Judith Boeschoten
Sound Recordist – Femke Bosma
Editor – Colina van Bemmel
Art Director – Kotryna Buruckaitė
Sound designer – Andrea de Jonge
Colorist – Jerliena Roosblad
Voice-Over – JC Voicemale
Voice-Over Recordist – Visionair Ordinair
Original Music by – Malcolm Lagger Caldwell en Liza Dries
Line Producer – Eloi Genrich
Gaffer – Lidewei Egbers

Still from ‘A Place Where Reality Lies’