Janet van den Brand
2018 | 73 mins
Country of Production: Belgium
Country Featured: Netherlands
NY Premiere | Director in Attendance

From slaughtering pigs to tracking storms, four children in the boggy southwest of the Netherlands learn skills that have sustained their families for generations. This portrayal of farm life reveals the unique experiences of rural children.

Co-presented by General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA

With generous support provided by Dutch Culture USA, a program of the Netherlands Consulate General and EYE International


Resilience in Motion | In Their Own Words

“My film CERES follows four children through one year on the farm of their parents. Each of the children experiences this year in their very own, personal way. During the filming, I was intrigued by how these children follow their childhood dreams of becoming a farmer like their ancestors, from such a young age and with such a passionate devotion. In a way, their paths were already laid before them and there was no questioning of following another path. Nor does this question need to be asked. The children follow in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents, walking on the same earth and dreaming of working the same land. Everything goes on like it always has, winter turns into spring, spring into summer, calves being born and pigs and roosters being slaughtered. This cycle is also evident in the generations on the farm. The land going from father or mother to son or daughter, over and over again. Everything stays. And the future of the protagonists of CERES is already decided.

We as filmmakers, though, were mere passengers in this everlasting cycle. We took one moment of something that already lasted for generations and hopefully will last. 

Compared to this certainty of the path of the young protagonists, we followed quite a different path when making this film. We had to be very flexible. Many days the weather forecast was our planning guide, and we needed to be able to be present on the farm on very short notice—a harvest or a birth won't wait for the film team to arrive. This is why we decided to keep our crew and film set-up as small as possible so that we could jump in our little car at any time. This made the process of filming interesting, with a lot of surprises and beautiful spontaneous moments. I hope in CERES we recreated the experience of growing up on a farm and the strong childhood dreams the protagonists hold dear, and that this little piece of film will reveal the bigger cycle.”

– Janet van den Brand | Director, Ceres