TITLE Why didn’t you stay for me?
COUNTRY The Netherlands
YEAR 2019
DIRECTOR Milou Gevers
LENGHT 25′ 00″
FORMAT Digital
SOUND Tim Marsman
EDITING Richelle van Loon
PRODUCTION Annerose van Strijen / Quita Ruijgrok


Why didn’t you stay for me? is first of all the portrait of the director, Milou Gevers, who made as a child the same path of her little protagonists: one of her parents in fact committed suicide and she felt alone to face and to overcome this emptiness. With her uncomfortable questions the director helps the children to look inside themselves and express their pain. Therefore the documentary is doubly courageous, becoming for both and also for the audience a cathartic experience. A taboo is revealed through very well chosen and touching characters and surprising animation in this short documentary, that is never compassionate or compliant and keeps its tension constant without exploding into drama but creating a suspension of time and an intensity that strikes you deeply.

You’re in primary school, and your parent commits suicide. How are you supposed to move on?

Four children.  One director. Each lost a parent to suicide. When director Milou probes the questions no one ever dared to ask her, the kids finally tell us about the journey they made from the moment they heard the news.


Milou Gevers

Her curious attitude and interest in other countries and cultures led her to study Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. During her studies she always stayed engaged with photography, theatre and film. After completing her bachelors, she therefore decided to apply for the Netherlands Film Academy. Milou has specialized in youth documentaries: a children’s perspective makes it possible for her to address difficult subjects in a light and playful way. She likes to use stop-motion animation in her work. Milou currently does an internship at the Dutch youth television programme ‘Hoofdzaken’, in which children between the ages of 8-13 tell what concerns them during a haircut.