World Cinema Amsterdam | Internationaal filmfestival | 18 – 27 Augustus 2016

Slavenschip Leusden

Carlien Megens & Erwin Veenstra |Netherlands| 2013 | 47' | Dutch, Sranantongo| Dutch subtitles
slavenschip leusden
On 1 January 1738 the nearly 20-year-old fully loaded freight ship Leusden owned by the Dutch West-Indian Company was underway from Africa to Suriname, transporting 714 slaves chained in the hold. Close to the Maroni River estuary in Suriname the ship ran aground on a sandbank. When the water started to enter the ship's hold, the slaves cried for help. The captain however, fearing an uprising and revenge actions, did nothing to save his 'cargo', but ordered to board up the shutters. While he and his crew fled the sinking ship, 680 slaves perished. It is the largest shipping disaster in the history of the Netherlands.

The Rol Foundation, that organizes cultural exchange programs between Suriname and the Netherlands, has brought together 20 junior journalists and students journalism from both Suriname and the Netherlands, to take a closer look at this disaster, which eventually resulted in this documentary. The project's major guideline is Surinamese historian Leo Balai's PhD research in the slave ship's history. Journalists Jessica Dikmoet and Henry Strijk came up with the idea to involve these young people in order to make the project accessible for a wider audience. Through the film this moment in history will never again be forgotten.


The director Erwin Veenstra will be present for a Q&A after the screening.


Rialto: Sun 18 aug 15:15 get your tickets