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Roermondse adel

Documentary film, 2003, 72 min.

Some three hundred Fermonts live in the southern Dutch town of Roermond and its vicinity. The first Fermont settled here in 1830; since then, the family acquired a certain reputation. One of the interviewees calls it 'the malady of the Fermont family': anti-authoritarian, quick-tempered and spoiling for a fight. 'When I'm right, they shouldn't contradict me'. And always slightly outside the law - laying an illegal snare, insulting a policeman, stunting with motorbikes and fishing without a permit. It has always been like this, as illustrated by records read aloud by heartily laughing Fermonts. A genealogist looks at their family tree, along with a Fermont who managed to wrest free from his lower-class environment. In musical intermezzos, director Joost Seelen interweaves old pictures, archive footage and images of Roermond with (sometimes repeated) phrases by different family members. And he follows one Fermont, who visits the former GDR as a glib door-to-door salesman.

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