NEVER A DULL MOMENT, scenes from the life of Sam Waagenaar (2014)

91 min | colour and black&white | 16:9 | Dutch with English subtitles | 5.1

Never a Dull Moment is a film about individual resilience in the most turbulent period of the last century. At the same time, it’s the record of an adventurous life that was richly documented and meticulously archived by the protagonist Sam Waagenaar himself: his personal documents in albums, the countless photographs he took and an unpublished autobiography. The autobiography sketches a life filled with surprising turns by a bon-vivant who loved travelling and who – apparently without planning in advance – successfully rolled from one job to another. With the title of his unpublished autobiography Never a Dull Moment, Sam Waagenaar also provided a striking and succinct description of his own life. In the 1930s and 1940s, he was publicity manager for MGM, operetta singer in France and correspondent and actor in Hollywood. As war correspondent, he was present at the liberation of Paris and Auschwitz. From those years on, he developed in photography and from 1946 he travelled the whole world as a journalist/photographer.

The life story of Sam Waagenaar provides an insight into how he looked at the world and how he experienced a series of events in the 20th century. These make the events that Waagenaar saw and described in his autobiography an individual experience; a personal narrative that makes history tangible. Part of his own conclusion is that there was never a dull moment in his life. And, after reading about his countless journeys, historic events and many passengers that could come from a boy’s adventure story, you could also yearn for such an exciting life, were it not that the war and the tragedy of his family unmistakably threw a dark shadow on his life. Never a Dull Moment is a film based on the photography and autobiography of Sam Waagenaar.

Voice-over: Hans Dagelet
Additional voices: Adrian Brine, Michael Harrigan, Michael Krass
Research. script, director: Pim Zwier 

DOP: Aage Hollander
Sound: Ab Grooters 

Music: Raymond Scott 

Editor: Stella van Voorst van Beest and Pim Zwier

Sound design: Bart Jilisen 

Production: seriousFilm producers: Marc Thelosen and Koert Davidse
Production assistant: Ciska van Beek

Co-production: Jewish Broadcaster
Commissioning editors: Alfred Edelstein and Mariëlle Kloosterhuis
Co-operation with: Nederlands Fotomuseum
Supported by Nethterlands Film Fund, Amsterdams Fund for the Arts, VSB Funds, Jewish Broadcaster