9999 (2014)

Director: Ellen Vermeulen

Wilfried refers to himself as ‘king one-eye in the land of the blind’. This land lays in Merksplas’ prison in Belgium and the blind are the internees who reside in the prison without treatment. Mentally ill criminals in Belgium are not held responsible for their actions but become separated from society. There criminal acts range from murder to stabbing fire of a bike. Due to the lack of places in psychiatric hospitals they end up in prison without any possibility for therapy nor end date. Their files mention as date of release: 31/12/9999. 9999 intertwines five different stories of these ‘blind.’ These men are waiting; for comfort, for hope, for freedom, for change. The time between their prison bars is altogether different from the time outside the prison walls. Time is annihilated. The only thing that remains is an eternal confrontation; a confrontation with their deeds and with their illness. There is nothing else. In this film we disappear, together with the characters in need of treatment, behind the inexorable closed doors. We wait side by side.

Camera Sony F3
Lenses Zeiss ZF.2
Camera rental Jonathan Wannyn
Aspect Ratio 1 : 2 . 35
Duration 71min
Sound Ellen Vermeulen
Editor Ellen Vermeulen & Dieter Diependaele
Grading Veerle Zeelmaekers
Line-producer Ellen Vermeulen
Production Associate Directors
Awards - Special Jury Mention @ Visions du Réel / Regard Neuf
- Awarded with the Human Rights Unltd. / Fried Van Hoof Award
Festivals - Visions du Réel (WP) - MOOOV (BP) - Docville (Belgian competition) - Pärnu IDFF - FF Ostend (documentary competition) - Kasseler Dok Fest (Golden Key competition) - This Human World Vienna - Porto/Post/Doc - Docpoint Helsinki - One World Prague - Movies That Matter The Hague (Camera Justitia competition) - Flemish film week Strasbourg - Festival du film policier Liège - Addis Ababa FF - Fokus Labe Czech Republique - Nederlands Film Festival Utrecht - Document International Human Rights Documentary FF Glasgow - Open City Documentary Film Festival London