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Sunday, January 24, 2016

De Hef: a Dutch Documentary from the Second Half of the Twenties

Ansichtkaarten - Rotterdam - Hefbrug-Koningshaven
(source: catawiki)
no copyright infringement intended

A superb documentary from the collection of EYE (Amsterdam). It's an eleven minutes presentation of De Hef, the famous Rotterdam railroad lift bridge over Koningshaven. For this documentary only the name of production company is known (Hafilmi, Den Haag). It was produced sometime in the second half of the twenties: more precisely in the last quarter of the decade, as the bridge was inaugurated in October 1927. I believe that the production year is before 1929, as it shows the old swing bridge used for the street traffic, parallel to De Hef; that one was replaced by a double-bascule bridge in 1929. Just about the same epoch De Hef would become the hero of a movie much praised in the world of art cinema buffs: De Brug of Joris Ivens.

Panorama van de Koningshaven te Rotterdam
(video by EYE)

Shots of the port of Rotterdam, with images of the busy maritime traffic along the Maas river and the vertical-lift bridge above the Koningshaven, “the modern miracle of technology”. The film shows just how ingenious and impressive this 1927 railway bridge (also known “De Hef”) actually is. We then see more shots of the Koningshaven and a Pullman train.

(Filmele Avangardei)


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