Erwin Olaf - the Legacy

Mr. Bachmann and His Class

Renowned Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf is celebrating his 60th birthday with a grand museum retrospective, and struggling with a major health crisis.

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Renowned Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf is celebrating his 60th birthday with a grand museum retrospective at The Hague Municipal Museum. In addition to this, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has gained possession of his “core collection” consisting of some 500 iconic photographs spanning his career from  the 1980s until the present day. It is the largest collection of works by a living artist the museum has ever acquired. At the same time, Olaf is struggling with a major health crisis. He ponders upon what has been the meaning of his art, and will it continue to be valued in the future. We observe the struggles of a celebrated artist at the peak of his fame, taking stock, with pain in his heart, of a life’s hard work - while, just at the right time, his body of work is safeguarded for posterity.



  • projection time:
    76 min.
  • country/year:
    The Netherlands / 2019
  • director:
    Michiel van Erp
  • pictures:
    Pim Hawinkels, Rob Hodselmans
  • production:
    Monique Busman / De Familie Film & TV
  • awards :
    2021 - Film sur l'Art IFF, 2020 – The Netherlands Film Festival

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