IDFA School Programme digs into family history

The truth and nothing but the truth… is that what we seek in a documentary? In that case, docs can even provide us with new insights into matters that we know intimately, such as… our own family. That is why IDFA digs into personal memories and histories of war in an inspiring school project.


The 36th edition of documentary festival IDFA will take place from 8-19 November in various theatres in Amsterdam, among which is IDFA’s very own documentary theatre, a brand new home base in the Vondelpark of which the festival is rightly proud. The new location makes it possible to welcome schools all year round, instead of solely during the festival. This year, schools can register for a fascinating educational programme: The stories of my (grand)parents.



This interactive programme centres around filmmakers using the documentary medium to investigate the (secret) war history of their (grand)parents. Watching these films and fragments, students investigate the ways in which historical events are transmitted through different generations. Discussions throughout the programme touch on various themes: displacement, shame, archives and artefacts, and identity. How can new perspectives transform our relation with the past? And will this have an impact on our perspective on current events?


The stories of my (grand)parents programme consists of three films: in SCENES WITH MY FATHER (Biserka Šuran), the filmmaker and her father make a journey through their past and discuss choices that were made when fleeing from former Yugoslavia to the Netherlands; part family epic, part detective story HIS NAME IS MY NAME (Eline Jongsma, Kel O’Neill) unravels the story of the filmmaker’s great-grandfather, the infamous Dutch Nazi Gerrit Jongsma; and in NDAGUKUNDA DÉJÀ (Sébastien Desrosiers, David Findlay – photo above) a filmmaker travels to Rwanda – exactly 25 years after the genocide against the Tutsis – the country where his father was born.