The pandemic radically transformed life in Amsterdam's Red Light District. One of the world's busiest tourist destinations became deserted overnight. This film explores how the pandemic changed residents' experience of their neighbourhood, and expanded their vision of what it could be.
Filmmakers Axel Schoterman, Sebastiaan Smink and Rowena Wyles wanted to capture the physical transformation of De Wallen district in a way that reflected the often contradictory experiences of isolation, anxiety and freedom that emerged during the pandemic. Using 3D scans allowed them to create a historical record of the physical space (a technique that would have been almost impossible during the heavy footfall of pre-pandemic life) which could be digitally manipulated to reflect the uncertainty, and potentially transformational experience, of life in lockdown.
The 3D visuals create a fractured landscape in which new spaces are revealed and everyday scenes are disrupted and distorted. This visual language is reflected in the sound design, which introduces interviews as broken soundbites and overheard conversations. The interviews reveal a sense of loss as people adjust to life without the buzz of visitors, relief at the ease with which they can now live and joy at the signs of nature returning to the centre of the city.
Through the combination of experimental visuals and residents’ testimony, The Spaces Between considers how the spaces created by the pandemic (both physically and in our lived experience) have changed our perceptions of how we should live.