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De zomer van 1823

Short documentary, 2000, 50 min.

Two episodes of a documentary series of nine. Geert Mak, author of historical best-sellers like De eeuw van mijn vader (My Father's Century), hikes across the Netherlands 'in the footsteps of Jacob van Lennep'. In 1823, Van Lennep noted down what he encountered on his long walk across the various Dutch provinces. In the ambler's pleasant tempo, Mak looks for traces of the past: a farm, a restaurant, or a hotel where Van Lennep once wrote down his observations. In the voice-over, Van Lennep's original words can be heard. Episode four, 'Van graanboeren tot heikneuters', discusses the still visible differences between the rich, progressive farmers in Groningen with their monumental farms - with lightning rods! - and the poor, conservative smallholders in Drenthe. One of the places Mak visits in episode six, 'Wie niet werkt, zal niet eten', is the Ommerschans labour camp for the poor, where paupers were put to work in dreadful conditions.

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