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Zonen van Suriname

Documentary, 2001, 100 min.

In Sons of Surinam, René Roelofs, who previously attracted attention with his political documentary Dutch Approach, dealing with the Moluccan train hijackings in the Netherlands, tries to unravel the backgrounds underlying the December killings in Suriname in 1982. According to the makers, this documentary is explicitly not intended as a historical reconstruction, but as a personal retrospect by the surviving relatives. In classic talking-heads style, with a chronological structure and abundant archive footage, the situation in Suriname is first outlined, from the independence in 1975 until the military coup in 1980. Next, eyewitnesses describe how their relatives, critics of the new regime, were transported to Fort Zeelandia and how later the fifteen victims had to be identified in the morgue. Not the (as yet unpunished) culprits, but the victims are the focus of Roelofs' approach to this unclosed chapter in recent Surinam history.

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