Nummer achttien – the breath of life
The unlikely story of an artist whose life is saved by his own inferiority complex.
Nummer achttien – the breath of life is the true story of Guido van der Werve: an world-renowned video and performance-artist who uses his video art to confront life. Besides, he is a classical pianist, composer, plays chess at a high level and runs ultramarathons. A special life, that almost ends in a fatal traffic accident in 2016.
He sustains a traumatic brain injury and is in a coma for a month, with his doctors showing little optimism. However, thanks to the extraordinary condition of his mind and body, he makes a miraculous recovery. In Nummer achttien, which the artist calls ‘autofiction’, he deals with the frustrating rehabilitation process. We discover remarkable parallels with his complicated childhood as he brings memories from his younger years to life.
He was often told that he was an abnormal child, and so he severely overcompensated, as the artist puts it. One thing is for sure; if he would have been a bit more like everybody else, he wouldn’t have lived to tell the tale. The film is not only a poetic self-examination, but an ode to all misfits.
Additionally, the film is sustainably produced, with emissions of only 11 tons of CO2 while, on average according to the University of Utrecht, the production of Dutch films emits around 72 tons of CO2.
★★★★ De Volkskrant “Nummer achttien is wederom een hoogst originele lofzang op de zonderlinge buitenstaander.”
★★★★ NRC “Nummer achttien is een unieke, speelse en tedere film.”
Filmkrant “Wat de film speciaal maakt is de kracht van verbeelding, in de vorm van onverwachte elementen.”
DIRECTOR & WRITER GUIDO VAN DER WERVE | PRODUCER DANIELLE GUIRGUIS | D.O.P BEN GERAERTS | LINE PRODUCER MANDY LIM | EDITOR DENISE JANZÉE & RUBEN VAN DER HAMMEN
The project is part of “De Verbeelding” by the Mondriaan Fund and The Netherlands Film Fund. It’s also supported by Fonds 21.
• OFFICIAL SELECTION INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM 2023