Mendel Hardeman

Den Haag, Netherlands


Mendel Hardeman (1977) grew up as a son of dutch emigrants in the Brazilian interior. His father was a preacher, his mother did social work and spent her spare hours playing medieval music on a lute. When he was 12 years old, he discovered The Beatles and spent the rest of his youth playing their music, writing songs of his own and believing he would one day become a beatle himself. He saw a movie for the first time at the age of 15, and couldn't imagine ever working on something like that. Mendel came to the Netherlands to study Theology, but ended up at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague where he graduated in music composition and music video. He then moved to Czech Republic, where he worked as an assistant to the legendary surrealist filmmaker Jan Å vankmajer. Mendel's short films Caress and Kyrie Eleison (2006) were invited to more than 40 film festivals worldwide, Caress being awarded as "Best Video Creation" at the Girona Film Festival 2006. His feature debut, Exodus, premiered at the Cork International Film Festival in Ireland, 2006. In 2007, Mendel's different areas of interest (music, film, social issues, religion, surrealism) found each other when he started working on a project with the people of the sunken town of Canudos. The extraordinary story of this region led to a film titled The Sea of pilgrim Antonio (2014), a non-fiction story of life, war and dreams in the dry Brazilian interior, the place where Mendel feels most at home.