Messages from the Hunkerbunker

During the COVID-19 pandemic, photographer and filmmaker Carel van Hees is forced to turn his apartment in Rotterdam's RVS flats into his own little world.
The apartment, originally built as a home for working single women, is also known as the Hunkerbunker (the bunker of yearning), now its residents' lives are confined to their units. On the tenth floor van Hees meets Gerarda van Nimwegen, a 106-year-old woman who hasn’t left her apartment for the past five years.
During her long life she has survived many crises, including the Spanish flu, the poverty of the interbellum and the bombing of Rotterdam – all this without losing her sense of humour. 

"Berichten uit de Hunkerbunker" is a loving tribute to a remarkable resident whose life has come to a halt in the apartment she’s lived in since the age of 44.

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“The film shows a delicate dance between a filmmaker and his subject, which happenstance brought together.
Straight away there is a sense of mutual kindness and warmth. I have to admit, I wasn’t really looking forward to a film about covid,
but when the last image faded after the premiere at the film festival Rotterdam, it was hard holding back the tears.”
- Jan Postma - De Groene Amsterdammer -

Directed by Carel van Hees
Soundmixing by Charley van Rest
Camera by Carel van Hees
Grading by Laurent Fluttert

Edited on Adobe Premiere

Running time 56 min