Into Thin Air

Category: One Night Stand
Director: Daniel Bruce
Writer: Bastiaan Tichler 
Producer: CTM Pictures
Genre: Drama
Language: Dutch and English
Duration: 50 minutes
Co-produced by: NTR, VARA & VPRO

On October 4th 1992, El Al flight 1862 Boeing 747 crashed into the Klein Kruitberg flat in the Bijlmer, destroying over 80 apartments. According to official figures there was a total of 43 fatalities. However, survivors and rescue-workers maintain that there were many more victims, unaccounted for due to their illegal status. All evidence of their existence was incinerated by the intense kerosene-fuelled inferno. Into Thin Air is the untold story of the Bijlmer plane crash and those unnamed victims.

Into Thin Air gives an insight into the lives of the illegal inhabitants (particularly those within the Ghanian community) of Klein Kruitberg, many of whom disappeared after the disaster. We catch a glimpse of the colourful and lively underground world they had created for themselves and their hopes for the future, as they hide from the outside world for fear of deportation. As we come to understand their secret lives, we also come to realize why they were so untraceable after the disaster.

Although Into Thin Air is based on a true event that happened to real people; our characters and their stories are fictional. While many survivors still insist that many more victims indeed existed even now, 20 years later, we cannot prove or identity who these unnamed people were. This story and its characters simply offer a researched insight into who the undocumented inhabitants of Klein Kruitberg may have been and how they lived before their untimely death.

Besides the story behind their disappearance, the film also explores the themes of identity, existence and immortalization. If you were to die today without the proper papers, leaving no trace behind in modern society, did you actually exist? Today these victims are still not officially accounted for and live on only in the fading memories of the survivors who knew them, and that is what makes the premise of this film so relevant.

With the 2012 Bijlmer disaster memorial service possibly being the final one, this film seeks to honour those victims who would otherwise be forgotten.

Director Daniel Bruce

Daniel Bruce (1981) is originally from south Africa where he studied as an art director a the prestigious Red & Yellow School of Advertising and worked as a lead graphic designer in the publishing industry. After emigrating to the Netherlands in 2001 he found his creative passion as a director. Since them he done commercials for brands such as Bacardi, Coco Cola, Philips and Vodafone and directed international award winning short films and music videos. Having studied as an actor himself, he has a keen sense of narrative and he is deeply immersed in high-end visual effects.