The ivy still mourns (2007)

A documentary by Barbara den Uyl

A portrait of painter, writer, gardener: Leon van der Heijden.

After a turbulent life as an artist, Leon van der Heijden and his wife Willemijn ¯ he as a gardener/painter, she as his girl Friday and muse ¯ withdrew to the age-old cemetery known as Huis te Vraag.
This cemetery lies hidden to the passer-by close to Amsterdam’s office park on the city’s south ring. There have not been any burials here since 1962; the cemetery however still functions as a park and place of tranquillity.
Under constant pressure from the hustle and bustle, project developers and encroaching new neighbourhoods, Leon and Willemijn have spent the last 20 years of their lives creating, maintaining and preserving a paradise on earth. Leon often records the beauty of this spot ¯ cemetery and meadow ¯ on canvas and he also writes books about it.

In the film we become acquainted with two idiosyncratic individuals, bound together in an remarkable marriage, in a beautiful and in chancing place. A place where living and working, living and dying and being buried all come together in their own unique way.


This film is available on DVD




Direction and script: Barbara den Uyl
Camera: Peter Brugman
Sound: AGert Jan Miedema
Editing: Jan Ketelaars
Music: Warner van Es
Production: Leen van den Berg

© Van der Hoop Filmproducties 2007