Of Men and Mares


The film shows life and work on two farms in Zeeland, a province in the Netherlands. Here, a few farmers, for different reasons, have chosen to keep on working with cart-horses of the Belgian ‘Underbred’-race. These huge and heavy horses, with their calm and friendly character were traditionally used in this region because of the heavy clay. Nowadays, all farmers, except for a small group of stubborn horse-lovers, switched to the tractor. The film interweaves the story of the farmers with the life cycle of the horses. As the story develops, the specific interest of each separate farmer: breeding, horse-show or workpride, becomes clear. Their relationship of silent comra-deship with the horses, the rhythm of their days, and their involvement in the well being of the horses sound through every scene. Above all, it’s a film told with a sense of down to earth humour, about love, life and death and of people that hold on to what is dear to them.

Region of Origin

Year of Release



90 minutes


16mm, Color


Metje Postma Thumbnail

Metje Postma

Metje Postma studied ethnographic film at Leiden University. After her studies she did some editing for colleagues, and became a teacher at the Department of Visual Ethnography of Leiden University from 1989. In that year, she and her colleagues established the “Foundation for Visual Anthropology in the Netherlands” (SAVAN) in Honor of Dr. Dirk Nijland. This organization initiated the Ethnographic Film Festival “Beeld voor Beeld” (Image by Image). She is presently editing a video-production on life in refugee-camps in Eritrea, which was shot by a group of Eritrean youth whom she taught some basic techniques of video-filmmaking in 2000.
Overtooms Overleg (2001)、Strangers in ‘Paradise (1999)、Of Men and Mares (1998)、Aruz al Dura (1993)、¿ Por que se van ? (1985)