De molens die juichen en weenen
Fiction film by Alfred Machin about a miller and a drifter.
In the autumn of 1911, Hollandsche Film, the Dutch production branch of Pathé Frères, produced six films. Director Alfred Machin came to the Netherlands to make them, bringing a cameraman and actors with him. They set up camp in Volendam, where they filmed De molens die juichen en weenen (The Mills that Cheer and Weep), a film about the revenge that a drifter takes out on a miller. After the miller refuses to give the drifter any alms, the drifter destroys his small wooden mill. In return, the miller whips the drifter. That same night, the drifter returns, and sets fire to the mill. The miller’s family escapes, but the mill burns to the ground.
The storyline is not very elaborate – the dramas from that period, for example by Filmfabriek F.A. Nöggerath, had more complicated plots – though considerable attention is paid to couleur locale. The film was primarily intended for rental or sale abroad, where Holland’s typical landscape did well on the silver screen. In 1912, Hollandsche Film also produced a second series of seven films.
G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), p. 35, p. 40, p. 83
Francis Lacassin, Alfred Machin, Anthologie du cinéma 39, pp.450-451.
The Bioscope, 7 maart 1912 , p. 711 en adv. The Bioscope, Supplement 4 april 1912, p. V