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It's every director's nightmare: to return home without your material. This is exactly what happened to director Rob Smits. At the beginning of Room 2017 we find him in a hotelroom in Taipei. He has just returned from a trip to the Yanomami Indians in the deep green of Venezuela. Few men with a camera had spent time with this fierce tribe before him. But money talks even in the wildest jungle today, and on the day of his departure all but one of Smits' tapes were confiscated.
Drifting through Taipei, capturing cityscapes that express his disorientation in a way that reminds us of Wenders' brilliant documentary Tokyo-Ga, Smits has to ask himself the desperate question: 'How to make a film with no footage?'
The result is not only a highly inventive minimovie, creating a visual story from scrap, but also a contemplation on identity in a world where escaping the ratrace has become all but impossible.
We see a truly nerve-wrecking story of a man trying to regain what he was out to lose in the first place. Room 2017 turns a hopeless failure into a brilliant film.