Whenever you see Lidewij Nuitten at work in ‘We are family’, you know where the VRT should not save

A new batch of bad news about upcoming savings at the VRT. As usual, this time too I shouted something to the television like ‘For God’s sake, think of Lidewij!’, because every time I see Lidewij Nuitten at work, it seems to me that in certain segments you should not skimp any more. in personnel budgets.

Tom Raes

After all, Nuittens’ programs already look like the product of a determined do-it-yourselfer. That says not so much about the quality, but more about the way in which Nuitten himself comes into the picture: usually with the help of a camera that is attached to a harness with a long arm, on which also rests a camera with which Nuitten, who colossus torst, herself portrays her interviewees. It also has a microphone, which saves her a sound engineer in addition to a cameraman. Sometimes I digress, and imagine that the audiovisual yoke on Nutten’s shoulders also has a button that, with a simple push, suddenly unfolds a set of spinning rotors. This intrepid reporter then chooses the wide expanse, looking for displaced persons who have yet to be framed, whom she, if she cannot provide them with a family tree herself, will simply capture them if necessary. She also does the editing herself, I’ve heard.

All kidding on a camera arm. I assume that the real reason behind this autarkic working method is intended to keep out snoopers rather than as an austerity measure – regardless of whether the VRT in Nuitten’s approach has now seen an ideal image for the future or not. By meeting her interviewees on her own, I think Nuitten mainly wants to achieve intimacy, because that’s what a program like ‘We Are Family’ also needs. Curious about her own family principles, Nuitten embarks on a search for the roots of her own family tree. Just like in Where’s Mark?, in which she tried to locate an old childhood sweetheart, that’s just a trigger, because en route to her genealogical destiny, Nuitten encounters many uprooted people who also lack a solid answer to the question of where the hell they come from.

On the side of two adopted sisters – not blood relatives – who were trying to track down their Chinese parents, Nuitten underwent a DNA test. After all, a woman from Oud-Turnhout, of Korean descent, had discovered a full sister in America after taking such a sample. The results showed that Nuitten’s ancestry, as she had always suspected, amounted to a composite: 41 percent of those were Anglo-Saxon, and nearly a third were Ashkenazi Jewish. That clearly got her thinking, because rather than answers, Nuitten seemed to be left with only more doubts about the revelation. In what seemed a turning point for this documentary series, she suddenly wondered what she was doing: hung with an arsenal of cameras, she was looking for as yet nameless and faceless ancestors, while in practice her own brothers already meant an unreachable continent. for her.

After that realization, ‘We Are Family’ instantly became a lot more personal. Nuitten turned to a therapist who would put a ‘family constellation’ into practice for her: during the extensive explanation of what such a thing exactly entailed, I soon missed solid ground – after the revelation that the therapist was also a yoga teacher, you certainly didn’t pick me up – but the goal was to arrive at new insights. That promise alone seemed to have some therapeutic value for Nuitten.

After the second episode of ‘We Are Family’, I felt even less like I knew where this show was headed. For now, I’m still inclined to find that uncertainty intriguing.

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