I want the viewers to have an experience with a lasting memory; something that continues to gnaw away [Bart Juttmann]

The work is more significant than the maker. The story is more important than the form. Ideas and emotions are more important than the art itself. I apply these three principles as the basis for my work as a filmmaker. My objective is to create cinema which makes people forget that they are watching a movie. I want them to have an experience with a lasting memory; something that continues to gnaw away at the back of one’s mind, before suddenly yielding new insights a few days later.

I consider myself a screenwriter first and foremost. The object of my research was to learn to write scripts which make optimum use of the facilities available to tell a story using images and sound. You simply have to have experienced the process of making a film in order to understand cinema. This may be one of the main reasons why I made the film The Last Word, though it is certainly not the only one.

Films are by definition polemical, and The Last Word is certainly a movie with a moral. It strikes me as self-evident that free speech has to remain free, and that one need therefore hardly expand on the topic. However, the film contains another moral, which remains unexpressed, tucked away between the lines. While I wouldn’t mind if the viewers were to forget the story the very next day, I would be particularly pleased if they should remember that other moral.

Video interview
Bart Juttmann about his research project 'The Last Word'

The Last Word

The setting is the Netherlands in the foreseeable future. Robert is an author who has been imprisoned because of things he has written. While the warders and the Director of Public Prosecutions do their utmost to break his spirit, Robert attempts to continue writing in secret in his prison cell.

The Last Word is about freedom of speech and the relationship between the individual and society. What standards can society impose upon the individual? Which resources are justified in this regard? And where do people’s own responsibilities lie in such matters?

In order to enable viewers to immerse themselves in the story, The Last Word was made in a subservient style, with camera work and editing which do not attract attention to themselves, but relate the story in the most intense manner possible.

[Specifications Length 16 min Medium RED Showing in Digibeta (perhaps HDcam)
Crew Producers Jasper de Haan and Bart Juttmann Screenplay and direction Bart Juttmann Camera Gerko Jonker Production design Mirjam Smit Editing Sander Kuipers Sound design Marko Vermaas
Cast Guus Dam, Noël Keulen, Markoesa Hamer, Iwan Dam, Sander Commandeur]

Director Bart Juttmann and assistant Sia Hermanides watching the scene just shot on the set of ‘The Last Word’.

Because there wasn’t an appropiate waiting room, a crucial scene was shot in the inner courtyard of the prison.

‘The Last Word’ was shot in the Blokhuispoort prison in Leeuwarden, the north of Holland. The prison was abandoned a few years ago. One of its wings is still in its original state.