Fear of Love
Hi, my name is Marieke and I’m afraid of love. People call it fear of abandonment. It means that you feel an emptiness you can’t fill and it follows that your love life is even more disappointing than the average day out to the Dutch seaside. This fear is central to this film. In order to increase my chances to have a fulfilling lovelife, I teach myself how to pole dance professionally; I train myself from scratch and end up as a contestant in the Dutch Pole Dancing Championship.
Even if you do not suffer from a fear of love you’re likely to experience some form of inner turmoil; the film will also be interesting for people who periodically suffer from other forms of general anxiety. Whilst I’m filming all of these small disasters, I want to show that life is never easy and full of emotional inconveniences. By illuminating the mess hiding behind the perfect facades of people’s lives I aim to make the viewer more acquainted and at ease with feelings of vulnerability and sadness. For if you encounter these feelings and decide not to deal with them, this mess will start ruling your life.
How did the idea for the film come about?
“Of course you’ll be able to pole dance too if you practice every day for three months,” a friend promised me after I admitted to be unsure about whether I’d ever be able to pole dance at a high level. I said this while we’re both watching a performance by the incredible Juul de Metz. Juul ended up becoming my private coach and I did reach that professional level, even if it took me a little longer than three months. The goal that we both set for me: to become a contestant at the Dutch Pole Dancing Championship within a year from starting the training.
Before I started training, I’d ungraciously swung around a pole a few times, that’s it. I was nowhere near being able to give a performance. Still, I felt very committed to achieve a goal that seemed physically impossible. Over the course of a year, I filmed myself with my smartphone during training sessions. In addition to that, Remco Wagenaar (director of photography) and Ryan Paulis (sound) recorded part of my training, the Dutch Pole Dancing Championship and the charming but confined atmosphere in the dance school of my parents. I’ve recorded more though, such as my therapy sessions where me and my therapist tried to figure out why I wanted to excel in pole dancing rather than in another sport. Not only that, I investigated much more with her, such as my desire to please men, my constant failing when it comes to love affairs, and my hope (whether or not in vain) to improve the relationship I have with my parents. Part of the documentary is shot in Roosendaal, where I grew up and where my parents still live and operate their dance school business. With my parents we spoke about the way they raised me; it helped me better understand who they are. I shared with them for the very first time details of my rotten love life and other insecurities.
As the film progresses and I try to connect with my parents, my focus shifts more and more to my mum. She is the most important person in my life, yet she doesn’t feel close to me. We don’t always listen to each other well enough, nor do we always understand each other. Realising this, I feel I need to look for new ways to reconnect, know each other better and also improve our understanding of each other.
Why do we need this film and why is your support needed?
Your financial contribution means that I can tell my story and that of many others. I will give you an honest peek into my emotional backyard, where vulnerability, pleasure, inconveniences, ambitions, pain and happiness are all felt over the course of a relatively short amount of time or even at once. These emotions sometimes don’t work together but more often than not it’s the other way around, they are compatible to one another. I find it very important to show that these emotions can all coexist in one life, at the same time, in the life of one person.
The more often people and creatives send out this message, the more it will trickle down into people’s minds which should make it easier to acknowledge their own problems and those of others.
In the film, I take you with me on a personal quest to find a balance in my life as well as on a journey past all the obstacles I met on my way to the Dutch Pole Dancing Championship. Both processes (quite literally) involved falling down mercilessly but usually also getting back onto my feet again with a smile and full of pride.
What needs doing still?
Everything’s been filmed but without your support, I won’t be able to finish the documentary. Editing still needs to happen and I’ve got two artists down to create the soundtrack. They’ve given me a good deal but they want to be paid nevertheless. After that, the post production process starts which includes colour grading and audio post-processing.
And then?! Yes then it’ll be finished, yay!
...the project needs to be marketed and distributed as it would be great if it finds its way to as many people as possible - it needs to be seen!
So you’d love to sponsor the project. Well, you’re gonna get some percs in return. Please have a browse through the rewards list. If you can’t find anything to your liking, please do get in touch. I don’t mind improvising a little. You’re doing something for me you hadn’t thought of yesterday and I’m happy to do the same for you.
This project is supported by Kunstloc Brabant.