Week 1: Achtste-groepers huilen niet

Dennis Bots, 2012

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The last decades Dutch Cinema suffered a bad reputation among the people in the Netherlands. After watching more than three hundred Dutch movies I can say with certainty: whichever Dutch person claims that the Netherlands doesn’t produce good movies probably never watched the right ones. True, we are guilty of making shamefully bad movies such as “Costa!” (2001) and “Dood Eind” (2006) but it can mostly be blamed on the Dutch audiences that they would rather see Dutch hillbillies curse at each other then view a thought-provoking movie like “Het Echte Leven” (2008.)”

“Achtste-groepers huilen niet” (or: “Cool Kids Don’t Cry,” 2012) is a very realistic display of what primary school is like for Dutch kids being in their last grade. Unlike many other (Dutch) children’s movies it takes itself and its target audience serious, which is a very welcome relieve. The plot concerns Akkie, an 11-year old girl who loves playing soccer. When she is diagnosed with leukemia it strongly effects her life and the lives of the parents and children around her. Hanna Obbeek, the 14-year old actress who portrays Akkie is amazing to watch: very rarely do child actors play such strong roles. Akkie is a vivid, lively and optimistic force of energy through all of the movie. The strength of her spirit while facing an awful disease is inspiring. The dynamics between Akkie and bully Joep (Nils Verkooijen) further solidify this movie as a small Dutch gem.

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