Fiche Personne
Musique Théâtre Cinéma/TV Danse

Hillie Molenaar

Réalisateur/trice, Producteur/trice, Assistant/e réalisateur


Hillie Molenaar left school at 15 and worked as a cleaner, waitress, bookkeeper and potato-peeler before finding her niche as a documentary filmmaker in 1974 when, at the age of 29, she made her first film Protest Garden. She was assistant to the legendary Joris Ivens before she formed Molenwiek Film with Joop van Wijk in 1978. Jointly they have produced and directed a dozen award winning documentaries and short films including The Factory [1980], Isingiro Hospital [1993] and Crossroads [1990]. She has since formed her own production company HM Films.

In her youth she thought she could change the world, now all she hopes to do is show another point of view. In her first documentary on abortion she tried to show that the issue was more complex than simply taking a pro- or anti- stance. Then she went behind the Iron Curtain where she found no enemy, only ordinary people living their lives. Whilst she does not identify with any one style of filmmaking, her technique is recognisable by virtue of the respect she shows « ordinary people » and the way she encourages them to express themselves in her films.

Molenaar believes that filmmakers must know what they want and be willing to fight for it, to have an « elephant skin » while maintaining a necessary flexibility. « Directing is a horrible job », she says.
She was be a tutor at the Close Encounters Laboratory (Encounters South African International Documentary Film Festival | CAPE TOWN, 2000).
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