In the 17th century, Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, a draper from Delft, begins to make glass lenses, in order to better study the quality of his textile. He melts, drips and grinds small beads of glass. His tiny lenses are so bright and have such magnifying power that the draper seems to have entered a new dimension. Is he the first to see little moving ‘animals’ in a drop of water? How to describe something that nobody ever saw before?
In the film Every Tear, Sarah Vanagt starts a journey into her home city of Brussels, with Leeuwenhoek’s microscope at hand. She picks up bits and pieces on her road, and tries to find out out what the first microscopic images may have looked like. She replaces the lens of her camera by the 17th century lens. As she is filming, she wonders why we always look for shapes that we already know, whenever we are in the eye of the unknown.