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Synopsis of Film No. 208 'RUDI'

The next episode ‘208 Rudi’ is a turning point. It moves into very dark subject matter, telling the interlinked stories of Rudi De Stoop, Loek Weerden, Mark Standen, Guy Andrew and myself.

“Write a list of things you would never do. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will do them. Write a list of things you would never believe. Because it is possible that in the next year, you will either believe them or be forced to believe them” – Sarah Kendzior, Hiding in Plain Sight

And so I write what I believe, before I am forced to believe that the future is set in stone.

There are only eight people that know there was a connection
between the meeting in the Judge’s chambers on the night of 9 November,
and what happened on the morning of 10 November.

Four of those people are dead.
Three are in prison.
One is hiding in plain sight.

But all three in prison will be paroled in 2024.

Humans are the only animals
that build zoos for themselves.

There are many things I don’t know,
but I know a great deal about imprisonment.

Everyone has a prison they are stuck in.

Knowledge is a prison.

And words are the author’s prison.

To get out of it,
I have had to serve my time in silence.

These are hard men without a sense of right and wrong.
I am just a woman with memories.
That is a chasm,
no amount of sentimental chit-chat about shared imprisonment can obscure.

*Niemand ist mehr Sklave, als der sich für frei hält, ohne es zu sein*
(None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free)
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities

Knowing this,
how can I show the real me?

I am Delphic in my solitary chic

Vitriol reaches my shore.

An internal purge reveals I have little control
over the rage that festers within me.

My transient hat is tipped to their resolve to do what was perceived as necessary,
because I am complicit when I acknowledge
that you can’t be neutral on a moving train.

No one saw it coming.
But what that means is,
that they consider the people who saw it coming to be no one.

The category of ‘no one’ includes me.

I became the person for whom an illegally sanctioned execution was not an unfathomable horror,
but part of a personal backstory.  

Authoritarianism is not merely a matter of mind control.

It is something that eats away at who you are.
It makes you afraid,
and it can make you cruel.

It compels you to conform and to comply,
and accept things that you would never accept,
to do things you never thought you would do.

It is a terrible feeling to sense a threat coming.
What is a warning, in the end, if not a confession of silence?

The nightmares I have had,
fending off thoughts of this illicit kleptocracy,
have proved feckless.

For this was a transnational crime syndicate,
masquerading as a transactional service provider,
with criminal,
and criminal-adjacent super-predators wearing uniforms and titles,
all linked by hostile intentions.

I used to think that the worst feeling in the world
would be to tell a terrible truth and have no one believe it.

I have learned it is worse,
when that truth falls not on deaf ears,
but on receptive ones.

‘A lone dark obstacle in a world of transparent souls’ – Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading

Invitation to a Beheading

Film 208 ‘Rudi’ is based on actual events that span a 20 year time period, ending in 2024.

It is a study of how loose associations can morph an erotic film project into a sinister crime docu-drama.

The narrative construct of ‘Rudi’ is based philosophically on the novel ‘Invitation to a Beheading’ by Russian author Vladimir Nabokov.

‘Invitation to a Beheading’ was originally published in 1935

The novel takes place in a prison and relates the final twenty days of Cincinnatus, who is imprisoned and sentenced to death for “gnostic turpitude.”

Unable to blend in and become part of the world around him, Cincinnatus is described as having a ‘certain peculiarity’ that makes him ‘a lone dark obstacle in this world of transparent souls’.

Although he tries to hide his condition and ‘feign translucence’, people are uncomfortable with his existence, and feel there is something wrong with him.

In this way, Cincinnatus fails to become part of his society.

While confined, Cincinnatus is not told when his execution will occur.

This troubles him, as he wants to express himself through writing ‘in defiance of all the world’s muteness to the events that are unfolding’ but he feels unable to do so without knowledge of how long he has to complete this task.

Indifferent to the absurdity and vulgarity around him, Cincinnatus strives to find his true self in his writing, where he creates an ideal world.

The day of Cincinnatus’ execution finally arrives. 

Cincinnatus is taken by carriage to the square, where townspeople have already congregated. 

He musters enough strength to climb the scaffold on his own. 

In the ensuing moments, the executioner dons his apron and demonstrates to Cincinnatus how to lie on the block.

Cincinnatus begins counting backwards from ten in preparation for the beheading. 

As the axe falls, his false existence dissolves around him as he joins the spirits of his fellow visionaries in ‘reality’

Suddenly, he gets up and walks down the scaffolding, presumably free from his physical body and wretched existence.