Het Zesde Zintuig

Het Zesde Zintuig (The Sixth Sense), 16mm to SD, black and white, sound, 2 min, 53 sec

When I filmed a mad dog at an industrial terrain I was surprised to see the dog run off as soon as I pointed the camera towards it. I wasn’t sure if the dog became scared because it was surprised that this big eye that was pointed at it did not express any fear, or that it was the dog’s own image, reflected in the camera lens, that scared it. However it may be; the dog got scared and ran away. This made me realize that maybe it also works like that internally. If you face your fears in a calm and quiet state of mind, you may drive them off or even serve as a mirror to them, reminiscent to the images of staring eyes, which are used in some Eastern cultures to drive away ‘the evil eye’ because those fixed eyes will outstare even the devil itself. When I was a young kid, I used to have a recurrent dream about an angry dog that attacked me. I woke up many nights screaming with fear. I was very ashamed about this. One day, before I went to sleep, I made up my mind not to let this happen again. I told myself that next time this dog would appear in my dreams I would tell it: ‘I am not afraid, go away.’ It worked. I never had that dream again. To emphasize this quality of inner fearlessness, I combined the footage of the mad dog, which I had previously shot, with the image of a girl who points a film camera at the dog, thus turning the camera into ‘an inner eye’ or ‘a sixth sense.’