film, 52 min
— On the 3rd of March 2009, Clemens K., the head of finances of a large arts fund based in Amsterdam, disappeared with 15.8 million euros of his employer. Also gone are his three children and two women he's been dating with, and they have not been seen ever since (text from 2011). The people in his former environment are left behind in shock: bewildered, angry, surprised and concerned.
For those left behind, it's not so much the massive amount he’s stolen– it's the treachery which affects them most. Unexpected and apparently out of nowhere, he’s broken all conventions on a personal and professional level.
The point of departure of the film is the almost mythical idea that he, the meticulous man of numbers, the man who has sent us, the artists, innumerable warnings and corrections, did what most artists want to do– but manage only in a symbolic manner: crossing boundaries, taking great risks and putting his own desires first, without any justification to the outside world.
The cliché of the 'dull' world of the accountant versus the 'exciting' life of the artist is being turned upside down in the film. Why is it, that someone suddenly does something so extreme, so out of character? Where, when and how did it start with Clemens K., the good-looking, kind and helpful family man from the descriptions? Was he the nice guy they saw in him, or was he wearing a mask all along? What made Sammy run?
The time before, the current situation, and the consequences of the fraud are being narrated by an actor speaking from the bookkeepers point of view and the people interviewed: the ones left behind. Next to the interviews that I will conduct, we hear a voice over which represents my own version of the truth, a second layer introducing another form of speculation. The man, Clemens is thus seen through a kaleidoscope, speculating on possible motives.
What fascinates me is that freedom is essentially an illusion. Whether you’re an artist, an accountant or a criminal. The 'freedom' of the artist only works if he or she is willing to play the game of conventions and rules. Some artists show this more than others, like Marc Bijl, who has a huge tattoo drawn on his belly showing the text: “This belly was made possible by the Fonds voor Beeldende Kunst, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst”(Fonds Bkvb). Is it perhaps the ultimate freedom, to be able to put a rather useless revelation just above the belt? Is and it therefore perhaps logical, that also an accountant - or anyone, for that matter - can long for this kind of freedom.
— The research for the film was made possible with the David Roell Oeuvre Award, which Visser received in 2007.
The production itself was realised with the IDFA Media Fund Award of 2010, for the best documentary scenario, a prize of € 125.000.
C.K. was produced by De Familie Film & Television, Amsterdam, with the generous non-financial support of the Fonds Bkvb
Mark van Aller
Joris van Ballegoijen de Jong
Kees de Groot
Link to the film: