Vier Muren (Four Walls) is a cinematic essay on the housing problem in Amsterdam in the mid 1960s. It opens with drawings and scale models by Dutch architect Herman Hertzberger. In the voice-over, Johan van der Keuken comments on the utopian promise of those designs: “There is a world of forms, human and rich in imagination, within our reach. But most people live in gloom, countless of them in misery, without protection.” The film features residents who visit the Public Housing Department in order to air their grievances. It also shows the houses in which large families live under wretched conditions. Vier Muren attempts to establish a visual link between the physical living space and the mental space that determines the emotional state and health of the residents.
Johan van der Keuken, NL 1965, 22 min