Wistful Wilderness

Weemoed & Wildernis

Wistful Wilderness

Digna Sinke


An unusual experiment began in 2006 on the Dutch island of Tiengemeten, to the south of Rotterdam. The island, which had been created over centuries from tidal flats enclosed by dikes, is to be turned into a nature reserve. Roads are torn up, dikes partially reopened, farming families resettled, farmland and pastures left over to nature. The Dutch government had taken this decision in 1990. Three landscape zones were to be created. They were named Wistfulness (Weemoed), Wealth (Weelde) and Wilderness (Wildernis).
The flat jungle of the island is also the childhood landscape of film director Digna Sinke. She has followed this unusual process of renaturation on Tiengemeten for more than 16 years. In her film essay Weemoed & Wildernis she observes the return of the original landscape. The film shows how the landscape is transformed, but also shows the perspective that the documentary director presents of herself. During the course of shooting, perspectives and attitudes change. Digna Sinke presents moments of a landscape on its way back to nature while at the same time looking back nostalgically on an agricultural landscape that is disappearing into wilderness. Weemoed & Wildernis is a filmic meditation on the passing of time. Structures dissolve. The world of natural coincidences allows plants to grow where nobody thought possible and takes away the threatening character of inrushing water. Sinke shows Tiengemeten as an enhancement of chaotic beauty that is created by nature, and as a lush wilderness that returns as soon as man steps aside.

Director / Script

Digna Sinke


Jan Wich, Goert Giltaij


Albert Elings


Tom d’Angremond


Antonin Dvořák


Digna Sinke, SNG Film


SNG Film

Digna Sinke

Digna Sinke was born in 1949 in Zonnemaire, Holland, and graduated from a film directing course at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy. Her first feature film, De stille Oceaan, was screened in competition at the 1984 Berlinale. In 2001, she took over the production company SNG Film from her deceased husband. With Belle van Zuylen – Madame de Charrière, a film about the writer of Dutch origins, she won the Main Award of the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg in 1994.

Films by Digna Sinke (Selection)
Belle van Zuylen – Madame de Charrière 1993 | Atlantis 2008 | Boven de bergen 1992 | De stille Oceaan 1984