Masters of Dox

Once The Dust Settles

John Appel
Screening time  
18.03. / Wednesday, 19:00 - 21:00 Theatre 5 Ticket
21.03. / Saturday, 22:00 - 00:00 Theatre 1 Ticket

Three places destroyed by a major disaster: Amatrice in central Italy by an earthquake, Chernobyl in Ukraine by a nuclear catastrophe, and Aleppo by war. The film starts when these places are no longer in the news, when the dust has settled and tourists have come to take a peek. Once the Dust Settles centers on stories of people who survived a disaster or war and are now trying to rebuild their lives. A woman in Aleppo who was a tour guide before the war, and told visitors about Syria’s rich history and archeology is back working as a guide, but she now gives sightseers tours of the devastation of war. A man who used to work at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and survived a huge dose of radiation after the explosion, now guides tourists around the place that has become an increasingly popular attraction. Here, just like in Amatrice and Aleppo, the time before disaster struck is gradually fading into oblivion.


John Appel

John Appel is a film director and producer born in 1958 in Wognum, Netherlands. He graduated from the Dutch Film and Television Academy in 1987. Author of more than 40 films for cinema and television, he is well known for his personal style in documentary filmmaking, coming close to his protagonists, based on what he calls "emotional research." In 1993. he made Johnny Meijer, his first feature documentary. Award winning André Hazes – She Believes in Me (1999) was a big cinema hit in the Netherlands. The Player (2009) was awarded best Dutch documentary at IDFA. Award winning Wrong Time Wrong Place screened at 2013 ZagrebDox, while The Magic of Editing (2015), a film about the artistic and ethical dilemmas in the documentaries editing room, screened at the 2016 festival edition and Appel held a masterclass on the same topic. He has collaborated as a mentor at many international workshops, gives masterclasses all over the world and was a jury member at major festivals.

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Once The Dust Settles

2019, 85'

Directed by:
John Appel

Screenplay by:
John Appel

Erik van Empel

Edited by:
Mario Steenbergen, John Appel


Carmen Cobos, Kees Rijninks

Produced by:
Cobos Films BV

Festivals & Awards:

IDFA 2019


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