Faithful adaptation of partly autobiographical classic novel by former schoolteacher, union representative and politician Theo Thijssen (1879-1943). Leading character is the twelve-year-old schoolboy Kees Bakels (Ruud Veltkamp, who also played Kruimeltje), a cobbler's son from the Amsterdam Jordaan quarter around 1895. Set against this historical backdrop, the film follows the emotional life of the good-natured working-class lad who seeks refuge in his fantasies, where he accomplishes all sorts of heroic feats. The circumstances force him to do so: his father passes away, the economical climate declines and he is in love with his classmate Rosa. Kees `the hero' preserves Rosa from an accident, tells off his miserly grandparents and defeats his gym teacher at fencing. For the switchover from the reality to Kees's dream world, the film makes use of special effects and colourful images that contrast with the drab reality. Schoolmaster Hans Kesting tells the story in a voice-over with an ironical undertone, which Thijssen also used in his tale.
selections & won prizes
NL - Netherlands Film Festival Golden Calf