In an inventive and above all cinematographic and essayist way, As a Fly Drawn to the Flame tries to solve a riddle. Why did a young lady from very affluent circles in 19th century The Hague choose an extremely dangerous life? Why did that lady in the era of salons and corsets set off for the African desert?
The film is about the life of Alexandrine Pieternella Françoise Tinne (1835-1869). In the 19th century there were more explorers from noble or at least affluent backgrounds that set off for the blank spots on what was then the map of the world, but Alexandrine Tinne was still fairly unusual as a woman.
The film, made from the perspective of the home front, travels more through time than across the world. Using old photographs, feeling and seeking with the camera, a strikingly lively picture is sketched of the adventures of the traveller. The old images are filmed loosely and nimbly and mixed with fictional shots. These include for instance the remains of the caravan of the last, fatal journey by Alexandrine Tinne and images of a chronicler (played by the Algerian-Dutch director Karim Traïdia) who tries to formulate his vision of the puzzle in dressing gown with a quill pen.
Another striking element for a historical film: the film maker did everything herself, from script to camera and from directing to sound. So it is a film about two dauntless ladies. (GjZ)

International title
As a Fly Drawn to the Flame
Filmmaker
Barbara Hanlo
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
2007
Medium
Betacam Digi PAL
Length
62’
Language
Dutch
Producer
Barbara Hanlo
Production Company
Purple Earth Productions
Sales
Purple Earth Productions
Writer
Barbara Hanlo
Cinematography
Barbara Hanlo
Editor
Jan Wouter van Reijen
Sound Design
Barbara Hanlo
Cast
Karim Traïdia