The Garden and the Wilderness

'The garden and the wilderness', a film by Hals Hylkema and Interakt about Athenaeum Boekhandel.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Athenaeum Boekhandel, director Hans Hylkema made a film about the past and present of this bookstore and more generally about the book culture in and around Spui in Amsterdam. This characteristic small square, with the Lieverdje in the middle, once a stinking ditch in the Middle Ages and a somewhat neglected square until the XNUMXs, is now an indispensable hotspot in the heart of Amsterdam.

The film 'The Garden and the Wilderness' outlines the 50-year history and current functioning of Athenaeum Boekhandel, which opened its doors in 1966 as the brainchild of maecenas and publisher Johan Polak. Three years later, when the Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum was also established in an adjacent building, a two-dimensional unity arose, which would literally and figuratively determine the image of the progressive and activist Netherlands in the XNUMXs and XNUMXs. Times have changed and so has Athenaeum Boekhandel. But what has remained is the unconditional love and commitment of all, both customers and employees, who have a warm heart for the book.