MOVIE TIPS


Chanaika

Director: Victor Vroegindeweij, Netherlands 2007,  20 min.

11 year old Chanaika, who lives with her mother in the colourful Afrikaaner neighbourhood of Rotterdam, wants to perform in an annual summer carnival with her best friends. We follow this eloquent young lady during dance classes and while trying on clothes for the parade with her pals. Chainaika’s live seems cheerful, but she has not had an easy ride. Recently, she personally kicked her father out of the house because he hit her mother. While Chanaika tries to forget what happened, she keeps encountering new setbacks: her mother does not have time to come and watch, dance class is cancelled and the dresses for the parade are still not ready. But she refuses to give up.


Deixa Ir

Director: Roberta Marques, Netherlands 2005, 60 min.

"Let the Movement Travel" is a documentary film about dreaming of dancing as a metaphor for immigrating. It tells the story of two young Brazilian girls, Rosana and Clarice, who moved to Europe with the dream to study modern dance. After a year in Germany they move to Amsterdam to study at Modern Dance School. As the girls are developing both as dancers and as individuals, their dream is being confronted with realistic problems like immigration laws, lack of money, physical and emotional stress. With commentaries of the director the film makes a parallel between her own experiences as a Brazilian immigrant in Europe for more than 10 years and the fresh experiences of the two girls. The film also shows in close-up a strong friendship as a support to keep a dream alive.


Het Wonder van Máxima - Máxima’s Miracle

Director: Paul Ruven, Netherlands 2003, 89 min.

February 2002. An Argentinian mother and her daughter visit Amsterdam during the wedding of prince Willem-Alexander and princess Máxima. She is looking for a miracle, the reappearing of her husband Alejandro, who got lost during the regime. She experiences difficulty as the police don't believe her story. On top of it all her daughter disappears in the crowd. Police officer Felix Bos also has a problem. His girlfriend Min has just heard some bad news. She's going to be evicted from the country. The situation brings Felix into trouble with the police. This is also the day he finds out his mother couldn't have been his mother.


Jacky

Director: Fow Pyng Hu and Brat Ljatifi, Netherlands 2000, 77 min.

Dutch-born Jacky is the easy-going son of Chinese immigrants. When his domineering mother arranges for him to marry Chi Chi, Jacky goes along without complaining. Living in Amsterdam with his new wife, Jacky takes the everyday conflicts between his two cultures with a dry humor.


Kicks

Director: Albert ter Heerdt, Netherlands 2007, 112 min.

A shooting accident in which a dutch police officer shoots a young Moroccan rapper creates polarization about the issue of racism among citizens of a multicultural society.

Rikshaw Rush

Director: Gergő Somogyvári, Hungary 2012, 55 min., Hungarian & English

In recent years, Hungarian rickshaw taxi drivers have populated the streets of Amsterdam. For some it is a journey of self-discovery, for others the only way to provide for the family. Going after money and freedom, the new-age rickshaw drivers are tempted to start a new life, breaking away from the old home routines. Some make a decent living while others end up on the street, losing their last ties to family and relatives. This film is a sketch of East-West migration: a documentary about hope and disillusionment, riding and chilling, and about days and nights in the touristy city center. The director follows the protagonists through two eventful summers as they hunt for subsistence and adventure.


The Immigration Judge

Director: Misja Pekel, Netherlands 2008, 46 min.

The Aliens Affairs Department of the Amsterdam tribunal is the largest in the country. Each month, 11 judges each have to decide more than 60 cases, the most harrowing of which get media coverage. Taking the perspective of three judges, this documentary follows them on the job and discussing the work they do. When court is in session, the camera stays focused on the stony "face of the Dutch state." It turns out the judicial robes conceal people of flesh and blood who realise they are acting on the part of the country, not as themselves. They too are subject to rules imposed by the authorities and to the bigger scheme of things, which occasionally causes some moral dilemmas. The craving for a new existence is understandable and the end, we are all children of foreigners," as a judge notes, but the Netherlands can't accommodate half the world's population. The strict rules don't alter the fact that each case is unique. Many asylum seekers tell incoherent stories or play to people's emotions, but there are also so-called bellyache cases: a man with HIV who is sent back to his country of origin because medical treatment is available there, even though it won't be accessible to him. That's the law, and as one judge puts it, "Deciding if something's fair isn't the same as enforcing the law.


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