Film as Fossil wins first prize in the Arthropology section at the Made in Video Festival in 2006. This is what the jury had to say about the movie:
Klaas van Gorkum’s 12 minutes Film as Fossil combines a mimic reportage style colour film from a 1960s family roundtrip in Malawi together with a telephone interview/conversation with a female film director conducted in Dutch. In the video the footage suggests an affluent situation: Colonial style housing with blond-haired kids and women sitting on the ground preparing food with children crawling about. An empty dirt road with a single, executive-style car in a fake breakdown scene. The sound is interestingly made to fit the length of the visual material producing a striking effect: the distance and alienation is miraculously overcome by the topic discussed in the conversation. What does it mean to be in power to ask questions of unknown people, and to document their answers? What does it mean to use the world as a backdrop for one’s private matters? Film as Fossil is suggestive and full of possible, and not particularly flattering interpretations, that also involves the video artist himself. The video stops at the same time as the female voice starts to question the intentions of her male questioner, and a plane lifts off from the African country. The whole video questions the narrative prerogative, and it ends at the precise point when it would have had to change its own program for deliverance.
Film as Fossil creates a visual and auditive play with distance and doubling of gazes. The distance between sound and image, present and future, private and public, black and white, questions and answers. To bridge the distance we are invited to read new meaning into the material. A Fossil - something experienced in the past is hidden and deposited in the film. The memory of the video artist becomes the memory of Holland’s colonial past and in the end functions as an image of our own colonial gaze.