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Ondertussen in Nederland - Meester Ben

Short documentary, 2008, 53 min.

Ben has worked as a teacher in the Schilderswijk quarter of The Hague for thirty-three years. Primary school Het Palet has seven hundred pupils, five of whom originally come from the Netherlands. Filmmaker Vuk Janic follows the enthusiastic teacher in performing his school duties, but especially at extracurricular activities. With affable patience, he gets acquainted with all the foreign names on the first day of school, praises the attending parents during a parents' evening, makes house calls, and along with his pupils buys fish for the class aquarium. He does everything with great dedication and commitment, which repays itself in motivated children and a sound relationship with the fathers and mothers. The documentary zooms in on two pupils: the introverted girl Rajina, who has just had a difficult period with her mother ('I can't go to her with love') and the intractable Abdellah, who does not like the fact he sees so little of his father. Under teacher Ben's loving supervision, they complete the year with success, too.

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