Face Value

Director: Johan van der Keuken
Year Released: 1991
Rating: 1.0

There is one thing Keuken can never be faulted for, and it's lack of ambition: for this documentary - without a coherent or even manageable thesis in hand - he travels over a large portion of Europe, interviewing countless people doing a multitude of things - boxing, playing polo, laying outside, running a bookshop - or just sitting around, staring into the camera. I think I get what Keuken's going for - about how nothing is as simple as its surface - but that concept is too abstract and unwieldy for him (as it would be for many others), and the picture doesn't 'congeal' - it's more a poem than a documentary, and as a fleeting portrait of life in flux seems randomly assembled (like The Eye Above the Well).