Published Sep 01, 2000Crazy is a documentary from the Netherlands about the significance of music in the lives of various Dutch UN peacekeepers. Director Heddy Honigmann carefully gets her subjects to discuss their wartime experiences in front of the camera, and intersperses this footage with photos and films shot during their missions. The stories' settings range from the first-ever peacekeeping mission in Korea, to Cambodia during Pol Pot's reign and, more recently, Rwanda and Bosnia. What connects all of the interviewees, besides the countless atrocities that they have witnessed, is the ability to identify a single piece of music intrinsically linked to their recollections of their experiences. Some of the film's most compelling footage shows these soldiers listening and reacting to the music that once served as an escape from the horror around them, which now is a painful reminder of that time. The film works best when it provokes honest and spontaneous reactions and stories from its subjects. It occasionally gets stilted by extended scenes of letters being read æ their formality has a distancing effect. Over all, though, Crazy is remarkably successful at conveying the magnitude of the pain and suffering witnessed by these peacekeepers, and the far-reaching effects that these experiences have had on them.