Articles / Reviews


date: Nov 18, 2016


Foundation ‘Opposite Direction” In association with Boegbeeld films presents:



SATURDAY november19, 2016, 15.00-17.30 - premiere Melkweg-Rabozaal (SOLD OUT)
WEDNESDAY november 23, 2016, 12.45-14.45 - Eye Cinema 1
THURSDAY november 24, 2016, 11.45-13.45 - Munt 12
SATURDAY november 26, 2016, 16.15-18.15 - Ketelhuis Zaal 1


A film by Marc Waltman

WALKING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION is a film about the tragic struggle of singer and songwriter Adrian Borland. The documentary will have its world premiere at the IDFA 2016 and filmmaker Marc Waltman will make his debut in the category long films with “Walking in the Opposite Direction”

Moving, affecting, painful, beautiful, honest and truthful. This is a wonderful film. The tragedy of Adrian’s battle with himself and his disease balanced with his joy and love of life and his creativity. It’s irrelevant whether you know of Adrian or The Sound or not. This is the universal story of the razor’s edge thaso many artists walk between heaven and hell.
(Quote Wally Brill, Music Producer, October 2016)


Walking in the Opposite Direction was made with passion and dedication. Crowdfunding and the sale of Adrian Borland’s old guitars and guitar case have provided for a part of the financing. Apart from that, the film is mainly the result of the big time investment that the director and producer made on the project.

Year: 2016 | Length: 96 minutes | Languages: English, Dutch | Countries of production: UK, the Netherlands and US | Shooting format: Betacam SP, HD, 4k | Screening format: DCP Screening ratio: 16:9 | Frame rate: 25fps |Sound: 5.1


Many people across the world get recognition, comfort and hope from the songs of Adrian Borland. The singer/songwriter himself suffers from severe depressions and is constantly fighting an internal battle. Medication provides peace but at the same time blocks his emotion and creativity to write. This is unacceptable for Adrian, although he pays a high price for this. Adrian’s choice: “Walking in the Opposite Direction”.


Adrian Borland (born on 6 December 1957 in Hampstead, England) is a passionate teenager and he loves Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Music is his pride and joy. Around 1977 Adrian, together with a couple of friends, forms his own punk band ‘The Outsiders’. With the help of Adrian’s dad, the band members record their first album. The band was playing in the living room and a TEAC tape recorder above in the bedroom recorded everything. This album is the first punk record that was self-released in England.
At the beginning of the eighties ‘The Outsiders’ evolves in ‘The Sound’. Punk is now called New Wave and the band starts to pave the road to success. Their debut album “Jeopardy“ and their next album “From The Lions Mouth” are fairly successful. The latter is even considered as a New Wave classic.
“……..songs - that's melodies perfectly complementing emotion - sounding exactly the way they were intended to sound. "Lion's Mouth" could be the end of the line for me and "rock" records - it's that good. While others content themselves posturing, pontificating in some show business vacuum, the Sound stand up and want to know why.”
(Quote The Sound - From the Lions Mouth review (Melody Maker 24-10-1981)
While bands from the same generation and with the same style, like ‘U2’ and ‘Echo and the Bunnymen’ manage to reach the big public, the big success for ‘The Sound’ is not forthcoming. This, despite the huge appreciation of the music press. Only in the Netherlands the band builds up a large fan base.
One night in the winter of 1986 Adrian tries to kill his dad. Paranoia and in psychotic condition he is urgently admitted to the hospital. After a short stay he is diagnoses with “schizoaffective disorder”. Adrian manages to hide his illness from the band members, till he gets another psychosis in 1987 during a tour. From that moment in time the psychotic periods continuously follow one another, therefore the band decides to quit with ‘The Sound”.
Adrian continues as a solo artist and mainly lives in the Netherland during the nineties. In Leiden he flourishes when he meets Resi, the love of his life. But when he stops taking his medication, he has a severe setback. So he is admitted to the psychiatric hospital “Vogelenzang’. During his stay he records his most optimistic record: a tribute to Resi.
The depressions last longer and longer and Adrian drinks too much alcohol. Mainly during these periods his lyrics become even more personal and you can literally read his pain afterwards.
After a period of wandering through the Netherlands, Germany and England Adrian starts with a new solo record ‘Harmony and Destruction’ in London in January 1999. The lyrics are strong, the recordings go well and expectations are that this record will put Adrian back on the map. But suddenly Adrian decides to stop taking his medication because he believes that they effect his singing. Soon the depression and paranoia returns. Adrian tries to scare away his demons by drinking alcohol but it doesn’t work. In the early morning of 26 April 199 Adrian leaves his parent’s house, walks calmly to Wimbledon station and around 7:00 hours he jumps in front of the train.


When Jean-Paul asked for my input on his plan to make a film about his hero ‘Adrian Borland’ I thought: “Come and visit me, we have a beer and then we will see how it goes”. At that time the Sound meant little to me and I had no feeling whatsoever with Adrian Borland. But that immediately changed when Jean-Paul came to visit that night. The large impact of Adrian Borland’s music on the life of Jean-Paul; the lyrics that gave him recognition and comfort: it really intrigued me.
That night I learned that Adrian Borland’s life was an emotional rollercoaster, where he fought against the person from whom he couldn’t escape. Several times Adrian secretly attempted to end his life, and without his admirers knowing about it, he took them on his personal journey full of ups and downs. Schizoaffective disorder: that’s what it was called.

During the production of the film we met so many kind people, who were all friends of Adrian. This taught us that Adrian, despite his battle, was a very endearing person who entertained others and knew how to touch them. Everyone was extremely welcoming to us and they were very open to share their relation with Adrian. Special moments, often combined with a laugh and a tear at the same time.
As filmmaker I was caught by the decision of Adrian to stop taking his medication. The fact that the pills blunted him and slowed down his creativity was unbearable for him. A terribly frightening scenario for free spirits to be unable to create anymore. The choice between two evils. The dilemma seems impossible and it has touched me.
Looking back my first long documentary film was in many respects an exciting journey. The big challenge to make an intimate film about someone who could not speak himself. Adrian’s dad, friends and acquaintances all told their stories, Adrian made his soul speak through his lyrics.
Marc Waltman.

Jean-Paul van Mierlo




Stichting Opposite Direction
Koningin Julianastraat 40
2631 BM Nootdorp

Walking in the Opposite Direction ( a feature length documentary)

Jean-Paul van Mierlo - research, producer
Marc Waltman - writer, editor, director
Martijn Prins – photography, sound
Thijn Teeuwissen - photography

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