Kunst… Begin drrr niet an (DVD) – Documentary Review
Follow Genre: Documentary
Director: Gwen Jansen
Distributor: Pink Moon
Duration: 76 minutes

Kunst… Begin drrr niet an (DVD) – Documentary Review

Site Score
Good: Good insight into Herman Brood as a painter
Bad: No side information about other aspects in his life
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Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Maybe the name Herman Brood will not immediately ring a bell when you first hear it, but nonetheless he was quite a well known Dutch artist. Known for his music, as well as his sketches and paintings, he really was an all-round artist. In the past there has already been a film about his musical career, but this documentary focuses on Brood as a painter.


In ‘Kunst… Begin drrr niet an’, Gwen Jansen sketches an image of Herman Brood’s career as a painter, using lots of old footage, shot by his friend and art gallery owner Ivo de Lange , as well as interviews with people close to him such as his wife, his friends and his band members. The usage of the footage by Ivo de Lange allows her to show Brood in a very loose environment, while working on his paintings or out with his friends. Herman lived in Amsterdam, but regularly came to de Lange’s atelier to paint. He usually made his paintings on the floor, using spray cans or big brushes and rolls. He always signed his work very noticeably and often used words as well: first just painted on, later also using templates. These templates prove to be very characteristic for Brood’s work. What also strikes is the usage of bold colors which, in combination with the coarse equipment he uses, as well as the words, makes some think that kids could do it too, and made many people think in the past that his art was not museum worthy. Nonetheless, even though his art looks quite simple and rough, there is something about it that might draw you in.

This documentary only focuses on one particular period in Herman Brood’s life, from the beginning of the nineties until his death in 2001. This means that by that time, he was already famous, be it more as a musician than as a painter. Sadly, for those who don’t know anything about him, there is no proper explanation, which sometimes makes it difficult to follow. On the other hand, you do get a good insight into Brood as a painter, as well as into his mind, up to a certain point, because the footage is shot by someone so close to him. The only downside to that is the fact that these videos are not of a great quality, but we didn’t mind to overlook that since the content is quite interesting.

Herman Brood Kunst Begin drrr niet anherman brood2

The interviewees all help to create a timeline within the period that is discussed and all give their personal experience with him. While this is certainly a very good thing to alternate with the home video footage, every one of them failed to mention that all the time, Brood was drinking and using drugs, up until the very end of the documentary. Again something from the past that you might have already suspected from his behavior in the footage, but something that isn’t clear when you absolutely didn’t know anything about him before watching this.


‘Kunst… Begin drrr niet an’ is a documentary that is undoubtedly very interesting for those who already know Herman Brood and want to get a good insight into his life as a painter. While other aspects of his life, such as his musical career, have been the subject of a film before, it would have been nice if it was at least mentioned properly in this documentary, if only for a few minutes, as people who didn’t know anything about him before watching it will have to do some research themselves to properly put the pieces together.


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Kunst… Begin drrr niet an (DVD) - Documentary Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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