In 1984–85, Johan van der Keuken took his camera across the globe, from Amsterdam to New York to Hong Kong, ending in Geneva. The object of his investigation was money, in particular the maniacal drive to accumulate it in the era of Thatcherite/Reaganite neoliberalism. In the resulting film, I love $, van der Keuken shows us his view of the world of money in which the Netherlands is fully integrated, and the contrasts between excess and deprivation. In addition to a succession of bankers, traders, and executives, van der Keuken also interviews the victims of economic dispossession, such as the residents of dilapidated dwellings in New York and illegal Portuguese immigrants in Switzerland (who, ironically, have a son who dreams about the promised land of New York). Flashes of the developing world (which the financiers admit is of no interest to them) appear on flickering TV monitors, indicating its remoteness from the centers of capitalist power, as embodied in the sanitized streets of Geneva. Van der Keuken lets the camera explore its environment, with attention to aesthetic detail that sets this apart from more conventional reportage. —New Museum
Johan van der Keuken (4 April 1938, Amsterdam – 7 January 2001, Amsterdam) was a Dutch documentary filmmaker, author, and photographer. In a career that spans 42 years, Keuken produced 55 documentary films, six of which won eight awards. He also wrote nine books on photography and films, his field of interest. For all his efforts, he received seven awards for his life work, and one other for photography.
Van der Keuken was an extremely industrious man. His career spans four decades, from 1955 until his sudden death from prostate cancer in 2001. Even before graduating from the IDHEC film school in Paris (1956-1958), he had already published two books on photography and started to work on his first documentary film. In 1960 he joined Haagse Post, a Dutch newsmagazine, as a film critic but left the following year.
Based outside Amsterdam on Prinsenijland, he traveled the world, making films and taking pictures on many topics. Most of his work was produced for VPRO, a Dutch… read more