Eva Besnyö, The Choice Collection

  • Photography

For three years photographer Leo Erken filmed his colleague Eva Besnyö, 54 years his senior. Eva Besnyö, the Dutch photographer of Hungarian descent, lived the last years of her life in the Rosa Spier Huis in Laren, The Netherlands, where she died in 2003 at the age of 93. Her photos won the most prestigious awards and she ranks very high in the art and photography world in The Netherlands.

'Eva Besnyö, The Choice Collection' (2002) tells about the photographers career and shows the process in which she distances herself from her life’s work. She can and will determine herself what will remain of it for future generations. By selecting or discarding pictures she tries to define the essential part of her oeuvre. Her last savings are spent on printing from negatives in cases where there are no acceptable prints available. The 'choice collection', the 200 most beautiful photos of her pictures, which she made some twenty years ago, is now in question. Some experts, such as her fellow photographer and at the same time biographer Willem Diepraam, are pressing her to choose from her pre-war work and to minimize her later work. Adriaan Elligens, director of the Maria Austria Institute which is charged with the administration of Besnyö's archive, has totally different preferences and plans.

Director: Leo Erken.