Why My Mum Loves Russell Crowe – 25 min.

Coming soon

A documentary that sees a daughter exploring her own mother’s past experiences of sexual abuse, the trauma that lies within, and the way it shapes their relationship and inherited fear.

‘Why My Mum Loves Russell Crowe’ tells a personal story of how trauma passes between mother and daughter and forms a persistent presence in their lives.

Directed, Filmed & Edited………Emma van den Berg

Associate Producer………………Imoje Aikhoje

Music Composer………………….Joel Whitaker

Colorist……………………………….Joshua Bradbeer

Subtitles………………………………Emma Morgan-Bennet

Styling…………………………………Danceney Gijsbertha

Thanks to : Coby van den Berg, Barbara Gozens, Stephanie Gude, Sabine Nieuwenhuys, Rob Thijssen, Inge Borggreve

Special Thanks to : Daisy Asquith, Jack Evans, Laura Belinky,

Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds

Goldsmiths, University of London 2021


Still from video installation "Mama'

Text about the work:

Emma van den Berg questions the personal and intimate space between a mother and her daughter. Specific moments of a single mother with her only child are documented in the film ‘Doei, Stomme Trut’ by the following and filming of Mical and Stephanie. Grown up as the only child of a single mother herself Emma van den Berg tries to capture the specific, intimate and narrow space of a symbiotic relationship, that can feel as much safe as oppressive. Next to the film ‘Doei, Stomme Trut’ the personal video installation ‘Mama’ (choreographed and facilitated by Pedro Matias) is shown of Emma van den Berg and her mother in a filmed performance. This film explores and questions the symbiotic space between a mother and her daughter. The specific personal memory of a mother brushing a child’s hair, becomes a way to research the attachment/detachment between parent and child.

By the turning of the camera, (away from her subjects and on to the film maker herself) a shift in perspective, viewing and acting takes place by replacing the tools of a documentary maker for those of the performer.



'Doei, Stomme Trut'

Poster Film - Click for Trailer

In ‘Doei, Stomme Trut’ I follow my close friend Mical and her mother Stephanie a month prior to Mical’s departure from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Mical is a 24 year old girl who lives at home with her mother until this day. Her mother Stephanie raised Mical for the most part by her own. Even though they are two very individual characters, they’ve also shared their living space closely for the last 25 years and are strongly attached to each other. Now that is about to change since Mical booked her one way ticket to move to San Francisco and start her new life there. A shift of family related space, a shift of time.

Tuintje Tuintjes - Video (2017)

Tuintjes Tuintjes (Gardens Gardens)

‘Tuintjes Tuintjes’ is a short film recorded at Tungsten Studio in 2017. Questioning the notion of a personal space, ‘Tuintjes tuintjes’ is a long-take video which guides the viewer through these personal spaces and unique worlds, ending up looking at the environments from a birds’s-eye view.

Directed and edited by: Emma van den Berg

Camera by: Navid Tansaz & Jorne Tielemans

Sound by: Rick Haring

Recorded at: Tungsten Studio, Broek in Waterland, the Netherlands.

Gerrit Rietveld Academie, 2017.

MILK - Video (2017)

MILK’ is a short film about two girls living together, and questions the bounderies in personal space when two people share their living space. This films was made during an exchange program at the cinema department of Ar.Co, in Lisbon, Portugal (2016).

Cast: Alice Sprascio & Suzanne Cleerdin

Filmed & Edited by: Emma van den Berg

Thanks to: Camila Vale & Victor Jorge


Mia and Maya are two girls living together. Both are new in town.                         

Mia is 21 years old.

Maya is 22 years old.

Mia and Maya are both studying.

Maya’s personality is spontaneous, social, impulsive, and dreamy.

Mia’s personality is introvert, serious, shy and quiet.

Maya falls in love a lot.

Mia has been in love once.

Maya loves cooking, being in good company, and drinking a lot of red wine while having long talks about love, sex and the universe.

Mia loves having a glass of good wine every once in a while, cleaning things, and when things are well organized.

Maya loves it when something spontaneous happens, and when they don’t happen making them happen.

Mia doesn’t handle change very well and feels uncomfortable when it happens.

Maya shares everything she owns and mostly keeps her bedroom door wide open.

Mia thinks it’s important her stuff is organized and prefers someone asking her first when wanting to borrow things. 

Maya mostly grabs stuff without asking.

Mia loves drinking milk.

*… (short silence) …*

Maya has no opinion about milk but sometimes likes drinking milk.

Mia always keeps a stack of milk.

Maya once looked into the fridge and grabbed some milk.

Mia noticed milk was missing from her shelf.

Maya did not think about milk anymore.

Mia is not good in confrontation.

Maya was thinking about the boy she was in love with.

Mia was standing in the kitchen looking at her shelf.

Maya was laying on her bed.

Mia’s thoughts and frustrations got some deeper.

Maya was still laying on her bed.

Mia quietly approached Maya and started talking about the milk.

Maya was surprised about the milk.

Mia said it didn’t matter but that it did matter.

Maya didn’t get that.

Mia went on explaining about the milk.

Maya apologized about the milk but didn’t understand the problem.

Mia felt some deeply hidden frustration and emotion because of the milk.

Maya was still talking.

Mia got quiet.

Maya started asking what was wrong.

Mia said nothing was wrong.

Maya said she thought there was.

Mia felt the deeply hidden frustration and emotion finding it’s way out.

Maya understood even less.

Mia started walking away.

Maya got angry of Mia walking away.

Mia shut her door loudly.

Maya tried to shut the front door even louder.

Mia was crying out her deeply hidden emotions and frustrations and thought about milk.

Maya was not in the house anymore and left the house silent.

Mia thought about Maya.

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