film-roll Netherlands / Color / 15' / 2017

Life can seem pretty overwhelming at times, particularly when you’re growing up. And it’s not always easy to talk to your parents or friends about your problems. Fortunately, the “Kindertelefoon” (Child Helpline) in the Netherlands provides a listening ear. Listen presents a cross-section of conversations between children and the Kindertelefoon. One girl talks about being home alone virtually all week; another’s sad because her parents are getting divorced. A boy in an asylum seekers’ center is worried about the future, while another boy doesn’t want to be gay and hopes these feelings will pass. Every day, the Kindertelefoon takes calls like these from children who want someone to talk to. But children also call to talk about their pets, to practice their audition for The Voice Kids or to make pranks. The recordings of these phone conversations are accompanied by images that quite literally give color to the conversations, and that beautifully reflect their tone—sometimes hilarious or naughty, but more often sad or heartrending.

director image

Astrid Bussink

She was born in 1975. She studied fine arts at the Academy of Fine arts AKI in Enschede and film at the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland. During her studies she made the award-winning documentary The Angelmakers. After The Lost Colony and My Enschede she directed several children’s documentaries: Wool Fever, The Hideout and Giovanni and the Water Ballet. This last one was awarded many prizes internationally, amongst which IDFA, Berlinale and Full Frame.

Astrid Bussink
Sander Roeleveld
Riekje Ziengs
Yvo van Gemert
Bartho Weayen
Sound Design
Tim van Peppen
Hasse van Nunen
Renko Douze
Giovanni and the water ballet (2014)
Wool Fever (2013)
The Hideout (2015)
Poem of Death (2012)
My Enschede (2010)
The Lost Colony (2008)
Rückenlage / Upside Down (2006)
The Angelmakers (2006)
In CompetitionKids & Docs