videoCero Ismael 'Sam' by Anna Maria van 't Hek
Anna Maria van 't Hek explores male vulnerability in the tender promo for Amsterdam-based R&B artist Cero Ismael. The film for Ismael's Sam is made up of stylised and sensitively performed vignettes, featuring the artist and his close friends and family. Focusing on depression and isolation, the film takes place in a confined environment, visually reflecting the themes of the track. Cero Ismael and Anna Maria van ‘t Hek collaborated closely on the concept and the execution - which ends with the artist’s real-life brother kissing his forehead to comfort him: an idea that Ismael himself suggested.“When I first heard the song, I was immediately struck by Cero Ismael's beautiful voice and how his lyrics spoke of vulnerability," says van ‘t Hek. "My starting point for the music video was talking to him in a very frank way - he took me right into his life, his thoughts, and the situations he has found himself in. These conversations formed the basis for the concept."I was inspired by the feeling of depression. The feeling that you can see the way out, but you can't seem to get to it. Despite a warm family and dear friends around you, you feel completely alone and separated from everyone else. As if there is a glass wall between you and the world."We decided to shoot the film underground - a place where no daylight comes in felt like the perfect place to represent this feeling. The visual language makes you long for a way out, but there is none to be seen. Which is, of course, exactly what depression feels like."It is important that men dare to be vulnerable. Art is a form of understanding each other better - and showing our vulnerabilities is essential for this.”Wonderfully executed, the video packs a real punch, and is a must watch.
Rob Ulitski - 28th Sept 2022