Life lived to its fullest is a life that actualises as many capacities and powers as possible, a life that makes the greatest connections to other things and alters itself in the process.

(Christopher Cox, Of Humans Animals and Monsters, 2005)

Hungry Hill is an experimental non-fiction film produced by Fierce Quiet Films, directed by Mieke Vanmechelen and Michael Holly.

It does not analyse, but seeks to actively produce aesthetic experience. 

The background for this project incorporates Vanmechelen’s personal story and personal insights, as she is at the centre of three generations of sheep farmers living on Beara. 

Her father was a shepherd in the Saeftinghe region of Holland/Belgium and grazed his flock in the marshland/intertidal area.
The family left their home in 1981 due to its proximity to the Doel Nuclear power station and the adverse effects of pollution coming from the pharmaceutical industry. They settled on a hill farm in the Caha mountains.

The film contains elements of both the personal and the political, speaking directly to the consequences of unhindered industrial expansion, of lost tradition, but from a personal point of view.

Imagery is close and intimate. We witness the lives of two brothers from Beara, and of Vanmechelen and one of her sons, as they go about their work. 

Landscape imagery gives a sense of place and also brings home the changing aspects and challenges experienced day to day. 
Technology and industry bring new energies to the already charged landscape and interruptions impact the fabric of all our lives.

Archival footage and sound from Belgium and Holland create an intertextuality between these places and the situtaions.

More than just a documentary, this film is a document of a physical and psychological landscape that has been lost in one place and is slowly being lost in the other. This work presents the real and ever-present struggle for survival. 

In combination, the human, animal, mountain and marsh create a utopian/dystopian document that is set to become one of the last of its kind.

About Beara from Wikipedia