The life and strange surprising adventures of Robinson Crusoe who lived for twenty and eight years all alone on an inhabited island and said it was his
Fiction, 75 minutes
This film is not just an adaptation of Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. Rather, it addresses the larger cultural myth that has grown from the premise of the book: a white man ‘civilising’ indigenous inhabitants of an island, and claiming the territory as his own property. In a time today when the call to decolonise the artworld and its associated institutions has never been more urgent, Deboosere’s cinematic intervention resonates with a large body of work seeking to destabilise and replace the ideology of imperialism. The result is a singular, subversive film, satirical and surprisingly charming at the same time, which makes sure to pay just as much attention to animals and the natural world as to the follies of human-constructed ‘anthropocene’ history.
The film’s best political weapon is irreverent laughter: the narrative swerves wherever it wishes, the music score serves up mock-military blasts or an a cappella choir, conversing goats offer a moment of reflection, and our connotations of cannibals change forever. Ultimately, nothing is spared here: religion, authority, law and order. Marrying captivating 16mm footage with an incisively satirical and dedicated vision, Het leven en de vreemde verrassende avonturen van Robinson Crusoe die acht en twintig jaar helemaal alleen op een bewoond eiland leefde en zei dat het van hem was skewers its target. (text by Adrian Martin for IFFR)
Written, directed & edited
Produced by Untitled Production & Hilife Cinematography
Supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)
World Première at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2023