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March 6, 2013

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The inaugural Q Conversations podcast: Talking with Jaap van Heusden

by Mark Meynell
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It’s been a germ of an idea for ages, but at last it’s finally come about. Q now has a podcast. Hurrah. I can just sense the infectious excitement simply oozing throughout cyberspace. But there are loads of fascinating people out there: hearing how a few live out their lives and passions ought to be fun. Doncha think?

Well, whatever you feel about the prospect of Q podcasts in general, the inaugural episode in particular is definitely exciting because last week, I had the chance to record a conversation with the very talented and thought-provoking Dutch filmmaker, Jaap van Heusden. Here is the link on iTunes (or if you don’t have that, direct through Jellycast)

Q-conversations1We were both staying at the wonderful L’Abri Fellowship in Hampshire (a place that has become a bit of a haven for me while on sabbatical), and Japp showed a few of us a preview of his latest movie (which he both wrote and directed): The New World.

MJHM w JappWatching it was quite an experience: set in an immigrant processing unit at Schipol airport, Amsterdam, it focuses on the unlikely understanding between a West African asylum seeker (played by Issaka Sawadogo) and a disturbed, difficult and frankly obnoxious (to begin with at least) cleaner (Bianca Krijgsman). This is the foreground; the background exposes experiences that most of us will (hopefully) never have to endure: population displacement, the chaos of war, fleeing to completely alien countries. It is harrowing – but in the midst of it all, there are moments of real beauty, grace and even hope. It is a very simple tale, but surprisingly rich in thematic and visual complexity and emotional depth.

Here is just a tiny little clip of a beautiful moment in the film.

By the way, before I forget, I should give a shout out to Ewan Cave, one half of the King Cave project, who very kindly let me use a track from their album Pay the Musick as the podcast theme music. Fantastic stuff – I’ll be interviewing him in due course for a future episode. But do get the album – it’s great.

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