4 Elements

Jiska Rickels


a documentary film by Jiska Rickels.
a Fu Works production in co-production with NPS, Dutch Film Fund, YLE, Off World and Canvas. Opening film IDFA December 2006.

Since the beginning of time the human race tried to explain the primal elements of their world: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. In these elements, one saw the kingdom of the gods. To keep the gods satisfied, the elements were handled with care. During the development of mankind they were deciphered, lost their mystic and transformed into pure matter. As an effect, people lost their respect for their power.

The force of the elements were used, however, they were never totally dominated, controlled or predicted. This means that we are nowadays still fighting the sometimes dangerous battle to control earth, water, fire, and air.
It is fascinating to see that those who are fighting this battle show a greater respect to the elements. In them we can see a sparkle of the primitive urge which is mostly lost by humanity.





CV Jiska Rickels & Filmography

Prior to obtaining a director’s degree for documentaries at the Dutch Film & Television Academy in Amsterdam, Jiska Rickels (1977) was a regular sound-performer for different musical theatre productions. PLAZA FUTURA, MAGMA SANG, HYMNEN AN DIE NACHT and  DE BAZUINEN VAN JERICHO are just a few examples of her prolonged activity in the world of new music. These and other productions were performed at various Audio Art Festivals across Europe.
Three years into her director’s study, she moved from Holland to Germany where she spent two years at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film in Munich. There, under the wings of Prof. Dr. Schreyer and in cooperation with Sanne Kurz, she realized the documentary HIMMELFILM.
Furthermore, Jiska Rickels was involved in THE STORY OF THE WEEPING KAMEL; another documentary which was nominated for an Oscar. 2003 saw her graduating at the Film Academy with the documentary UNTERTAGE.
Since 2004, she’s been working on a series of four documentaries, entitled VIERLUIK, of which the episodes ‘WATER’ (October 2004) and ‘FIRE’ (Summer 2005) have already been finished.

2004   Electriek     NPS Kort! Fiction short movie / 35mm / 9 min.

An 85-year-old inhabitant of the Belgian Ardennes has managed all her life without electricity. When the power-company finally comes round to connecting her remote house to the main rig, she informs the workers of her impotence to use the electricity since she doesn’t have any electrical appliances. A great opportunity for her neighbours to indulge in a bit of electrical gift-shopping.

2004   HIMMELFILM     Film academy Muenchen / documentary / S35mm / 20 min.
What did heaven look like when we were young? In trying to answer this question, people mostly look out of their window, searching dreamily for a piece of sky that’s tucked away between skyscrapers. For this documentary, tones and voices were recorded all over the world, ranging from childhood-memories to thoughts of heaven and home. Everybody has it’s own childhood-heaven. Own memories, forgotten corners, blank spots of childhood that fade away like colours in old photographs. Is heaven everywhere the same? Is it always present?

2003   UNTERTAGE     Graduation project / documentary / 16mm / 25 min.   

This impressionist documentary accompanies two miners down one of Germany’s last coal mines during one day.

2002   GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG    Experimental film/ 16mm / 17 min.
GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG is an experimental movie about a person who travels a futuristic, industrial landscape where the gods have been substituted by enormous machines. A short movie about the quest for man’s origins.

Awards / Festivals

grand judy award Trento Film Festival, 2008, Italie

Official opening film International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, 2006, Pays-Bas

Best Photography award Chicago International Film Festival, 2007, Etats-Unies

DDG Award Nederland (Dutch Directors Guild)

Christal Film Nederlands Film Festival, 2007, Pays-Bas

Grand Price Trento Film Festival, 2007, Italie

Mention spécial International Environmental Film Festival Ecocinema, 2008,  la Grecque

selection officielle Femina Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, 2007, le Brazil
selection officielle Film Festival Athene, 2007, la Grecque
selection officielle Mar Del Plata Film Fest, 2007, Brazil
selection officielle Seattle International Film Festival, 2007, US
selection officielle Festival International de Ciné en Guadalajara, 2007, Mexique
selection officielle Trento Film Festival (Grand Price), 2007, Italie
selection officielle International Festival of New Film Split, 2007, Coratie
selection officielle Architectuur Film Festival Rotterdam, 2007, Pays-Bas
selection officielle Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, 2007, République Tchèque
selection officielle B-side Festival Genius Hot Doc’s, 2007, Canada
selection officielle Open Doek Festival Turnhout, 2007, Belgique
selection officielle Madcat Women’s International Film Festival, 2007, Californie, Etats-Unies
selection officielle International Environmental Film Festival Ecocinema, 2008
selection officielle Big Sky Documentary Festival, Missoula, 2008, Montana Etats-Unies
selection officielle Rodos International Films and Visual Arts Festival, Rodos, 2007, Greece
selection officielle Talinn Black Nights Film Festival, Talinn, 2007, Estonie
selection officielle Iran International Documentary Film Festival, Teheran,2007, Iran
selection officielle Film Festival of Bangkok, 2007, Thailande

Diffusé par NPS, VRT-CANVAS

Distributeur/vendeur:    A-Film