Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trailer: Dutch film "Alleen maar nette mensen" - Ghetto versus civilised


A Jewish boy from a middle class family goes to the black neighboorhood Amsterdam Bijlmer to find a black ghetto girl with a big behind. The story is the film adaptation of the controversial bestseller by Dutch writer Robert Vuijsje, entitled "Alleen Maar Nette Mensen" (or "Only Decent People").

The official synopsis for the film adaptation:
ONLY DECENT PEOPLE is a Dutch comedy based on the controversial bestseller by Robert Vuijsje. Starring Geza Weisz, Imanuelle Grives, Annet Malherbe & Jeroen Krabbe. David Samuels is from an intellectual Jewish family from the posh Amsterdam Old South, where he is often mistaken as Moroccan because of his dark hair. David is a remarkable man on a mission: to find a ghetto fabulous queen with great tits and thick buttocks. His parents and friends declare him mad, but David continues unabated. His search leads him to the Bijlmer, where, after some wild adventures he is left disappointed. Will David ever find his ideal woman - a large, dark sex goddess with booty and brains?

We have written a few post about the book and the upcoming film, so see the links:
Dutch novel reinforces sexual stereotypes of black women
On 'Alleen Maar Nette Mensen' from Robert Vuijsje
Black women stereotyped in Dutch film “Only decent people”

Also see the American review and the comments on Shadow and Act

The responses so far on YouTube and on some Dutch film sites show a clear division between white and black viewers. Most black viewers find the trailer offensive, but most white viewers see no harm in it, some even think the film can serve as a dialog on the way black people are portrayed in the Netherlands. Based on the trailer, the film looks like a typical Dutch film, lots of shouting and at least one off topic explicit scene. An American remake? I don’t think so.

The film is planned to be released in theatres on 11 October.


English translation
In the shop: David: No you don't have a big butt in those shoes
Text: David Samuels is nice Jewish guy
At the table with his parents: Parents: How long are you together? Girlfriend: Seven years and 3 months.
Text: With a kind mother
In the room with the dishes: Mother: We begin with the Gefilte fiish [Jewish]  and the herring bon bon. Everyone may just take one of each.
Text: And nice girlfriend. But he really wants something else ...
David on the street: David: Latetly I look at a totally different kind of women. "Hello beautiful ".
Old man at table says:  "African Ladies, is that your field of interest.
At the table with two black men: David: The more darker she is, the closest she is to nature.
At the table with his parents: David: I am in love. Mother: with whom if I may ask? David: with Rowanda Father: Is that a Dutch name?
Changing scene Rowanda and parents: David: she 23 and has two kids.
At Rowanda's home: David: We eat on the couch. Mother: on the couch?
Group black guys: Black man: Now you are going to tell me that Rowando is your only chick. 
David: Rowanda is my only chick.
Rowanda hits him: Rowanda: You know what you are, a gingerbread. A white man who hangs around to much with black people. You take over all the bad habits
Angry father: If your are going to ruin your life I will stop giving you money. You won't get anything from me.
Angry Rowanda screaming for balcony: Fuck you with your Oud Zuid [posh neighboorhood] Alleen maar nette mensen.  

44 Comments:

Chico-Rei said...

Thanks for the post. I've just been writing an article about black female sterotypes in the media and when I just watched the clip I stopped for a few seconds and honestly didn't know what to think. I know one thing it wasn't good though. Is there an English translation of this book

Sanza said...

Unbelievable. I've just watched the video and couldn't believe my eyes. Who are all those girls who accept to play movies like this? Prostitutes? Mentally disabled women? And the guys who are having fun, are they starving in real life?
This movie is crap and one more insult to the black women and blacks in general.
We should start making sociological movies on whites
for change, I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun too.

Afro-Europe said...

Chico, no there isn't an English translation as yet, but it seems a Turkish publishing company bought the publishing rights, so there is hope.

Sanza, I think they are actors who think that if I don’t do it, someone else will. The problem is that there is no black critical mass in the Netherlands to contest this type of books and films, so it’s open season for everyone who wants a piece of Dutch black people.

John said...

You would be amazed, Sanza, what many people would do for their "15 minutes of fame". This is ESPECIALLY true among the African-Diasporic communities in Western countries.

Your suggestion of making documentaries/films about Whites' pathologies of racism is a good one! A very good fictionalized movie of this sort, "White Man's Burden", (1995), starring Harry Belafonte and John Travolta, was just such a movie. In it, all the Black characters were well-to-do, enjoyed "Black Privilege", and occupied good social positions in America, and all the White characters were poor, unemployed and marginally employed, and suffered deep racism at the hands of Blacks. In other words, the tables were turned and the film attempted to show what Whites had created via their racism.

Unfortunately, the film was not a commercial success. Over the years it has grossed little more than $3 million dollars. It is now on DVD and few people even remember it. :-(

Chico-Rei said...

Afro-Europe I expect the countries that buy it are the countries that want to promote negative black sterotypes.

@John I have seen the film White Man's Burden it was a very good film and I remember reading that John Travolta liked the script so much he took a huge pay cut to be in it, but whites don't like when they have the tables turned on them.

It's crazy how many black people would rather watch Tyler Perry movies than postive black films.

If you have time check a film trailer on youtube called Dear White people it's for a new film.

Sanza said...

Thank you John for this reminder, I think I already heard of that movie with Travolta but never got the chance to watch it.

Actually I was thinking about a movie over the discovering of a white society's codes from a black person perspective.

Afro-Europe said...

Chico-Rei, I don't think another country will buy the film, this will be a Dutch only event.

John said...

Thanks a lot, Chico-Rei! To tell you the truth, in spite of the hours and hours I spend perusing You Tube for content about the African Diaspora, I've never found "Dear White People". I saw the interview with its African-American creator, Justin Simien, and was very, very impressed. It's looooong past-due that we see ourselves and OURSTORY analyzed from a different lens than what's out there currently: As you said, the myopic African-American slice of life shown by Tyler Perry.

I found it refreshing that the Black college characters in "Dear White People" attend the predominantly White Manchester University (fictional) and even speak English like Justin Simien. (Gasp!) That's another thing that America needs to recognize: MANY OF US come from two family, college educated, non-Ebonics-speaking upwardly mobile families----and we are STILL African-American!

Thanks again, Chico-Rei, for the tip!

John said...

CORRECTION: I meant to say "two parent" not two family in the above post.

Rebel American said...

Wow!!

Really!! Is that the roles "Black" people really want to take? It’s quite amazing actually some Black people wonder why other "races" look at us like buffoons well holy f&^k when you take roles like that what do you think. I'm thoroughly disgusted at the clip I just witnessed. The media is a very powerful weapon and you only reinforce the stereotypes when you take roles like this. So I guess when a "White" European who does not know much about "Black" people watches this movie he/she will not look at me like a fucking retard. Thanks to the actors who acted in this movie you just set the "Black" race back a couple of years in table etiquette courses! Way to go!

truth2011 said...

John... you said exactly what I've been saying. WHITE AMERICANS are telling AFRICANS in France to stop taking racist movie roles. WHITE AMERICANS!

These Africans either have low self-esteem or are trying to fit in too hard. Either way, it's unacceptable.

John said...

If what you are saying is factual, Truth; White Americans are telling Africans,---- the ORIGINAL PEOPLE of our wonderful planet,----not to take demeaning roles, it is truly, truly a sad day. It's unacceptable, like you said. SMH!!!

Sanza said...

Afro-Europe, maybe it is possible to get the names of these black actors or the directors team of the movie. I would be interested in letting them know what I think of this crap...do you have any info?

Afro-Europe said...

Hi Sanza,

Here is the new website of the film.
http://alleenmaarnettemensenfilm.nl/

But I think they already know what you think of this film. :)

Sanza said...

lol yes internet is a public space. thank you for the link!

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!! I AM FED UP WITH THIS POOP ON A STICK PEOPLE CALL CREATIVE EXPRESSION!!!! This movie is pathetic. This is degrading. We as African Diaspora community need to stand up against this crap and take back our reputation.

truth2011 said...

Black Americans have a lot of problems, but unity isn't one of them. 93% of black Americans vote for the same party.

BUT... next time I travel overseas, I will nod my head and agree that I'm "mix-race," "biracial," or "mulatto." I don't condone ANY of this stuff that I see from Africans overseas (and even black people in this film that are descendants from slaves like me; they should know better).

Rebel American said...

Totally agree dude. I think we should like write the author and have him give an interview on "why he thought this movie should be made". I mean really what is the point of his movie. How can he, not only explain to the "Black community", but other ethnic/racial groups how this movie does not cast "Black people" in a horrible light?

Then I want to know why the actors thought this would be such an awesome role to take?

truth2011 said...

Write the author for what? It's only permitted if people allow it.

Can't really blame the author.

Chico-Rei said...

The truth is the film comes out because black people allow it to come out, we don't seem to make a stand for things that are important to us anymore, especially in Europe, we say we don't have the time, we have to get money, but we've always got time to hit up a club.

truth2011 said...

And that's where you're wrong. There would have been an uproar in the US if this happened.

Chico-Rei said...

and that's where you don't read comments, did you not see where I wrote especially in Europe, please read before you comment. SMH I see cooning around like this in US films all the time, the only difference is it's directed by black directors like Tyler Perry.

Anonymous said...

As a black Dutch person who've lived in the States I can understand why many people feel that this is upsetting. But I must also add that black people in the Netherlands are VERY different from Afro-Americans. Firstly, in The Netherlands they all come from the Dutch Antilles or Suriname. I'm Surinamese myself. To us, this is not upsetting, it's just funny. Because we all recognise it. I feel that if you've never been to The Netherlands and have no idea of our culture, you don't have the right to judge. What people should also realize is that in The Netherlands, racism is no longer an issue, at least not compared to what it is in the states. Don't get me wrong, I do get why people would feel this is wrong. But just know that noone in our country will percieve it the way Americans would and I'm talking about the black community. If you can't approach a subject with humor, it'll never disappear. The more pressure you put on the subject, the heavier it'll become.

Afro-Europe said...

Anonymous, I think you have missed the big debate about the book a few years ago. So, I don't think Surinamese and Antillean people take this as a joke. Of course, there are people who see the humour in this film, but there are also people who feel this is racist.

truth2011 said...

No, I don't see stuff like this "all the time" and I live in the US. Nice lie.

And why are you using that word, "cooning"? You're not a black American. You and Sanza, Africans, use words that you have no idea what the meaning is. I can't believe she was allowed to us the "N word" and she's African.

Sanza said...

" in The Netherlands, racism is no longer an issue"
That's called denial. and unfortunately many of us are in that state of mind...

Rebel American said...

Whoa!! Slow down there truth2011. Chico-Rei does have a point there. I mean Tyler Perry in all his "glory" (that is totally sarcasm) and resources at his disposal you would think that viewers would get something more worthwhile than "Madea's whatever reunion". In reality Tyler Perry has the power to change the perception of Black people Nationally and Internationally, being that the media is such a powerful tool. Which is why I question why is Tyler Perry wasting his time with what he thinks is so called great cinema.

Rebel American said...

Dude, are you retarded? How is a movie like this even close to being funny?

Chico-Rei said...

wow just wow at truth2011 so now I can't say cooning around because I'm not American, are you even serious right now, you sound more racist than a white person. I know exactly what cooning around means if I didn't I wouldn't have used the words. You don't think some of the rappers in the US aren't the modern day minstrels? You say Africans like it's a dirty word. I'm from England never assume. When black Americans argue with black britsh etc it's like slaves back in the day fighting over who had the better slavemaster.

Chico-Rei said...

I agree with Rebel American what is funny about this. All we do is laugh how many black comedians are there, we laugh so much it stops us from critcal thinking, lets see how much the author would laugh if we done a film on Jewish people.

Anonymous said...

This is positive humorous film. People from US cant understand. I have noticed pretty much all people in USA are racist, no matter their skin color. You just cant get out of your racial thinking for once. You dont need to do anything else than watch some worldstarhiphop videos and their comments and you see that you are all racist. I understand it. Its because your history. But its still not acceptable. For you everything is about race.

We love black people, all people! Americans are so deep in their racial thinking that they cant understand. Mind your own business. You can make fun of me, I can make fun of you. This is movie about beauty of black women.

Chico-Rei said...

You're a fool if you think this is postive there is nothing postive about it, lets see how postive and humorous it would be if it was the other way around, about white women, this is disrespecting black women.

Do me a favour and go on youtube and you see white people from all over the world being racist, Europe is just as racist as the US if not even more, the difference is in Europe the people hide behind computers or do films like this to subtly be racist.

This isn't about the beauty of black women this is making black women look easy and like slags and before you say anything I'm not American.

Anonymous said...

"David is a remarkable man on a mission: to find a ghetto fabulous queen with great tits and thick buttocks. His parents and friends declare him mad, but David continues unabated. His search leads him to the Bijlmer, where, after some wild adventures he is left disappointed. Will David ever find his ideal woman - a large, dark sex goddess with booty and brains?"

Wow. As I read the synopsis of this movie, I wonder how is this about "the beauty of black women." It is far from positvie and humorous. This movie is a celebration of negative stereotypes, depicting Black women as being loose morally, and easy to bed. And just like a slave, some Blacks will defend their masters no matter what.

Black people except things that no one else will.

Jerry said...

Things like this make really sad..
this shows how the White Dutch people think about people of color i live in the southern part of the Netherlands i'm mixed my dad is Dutch and my moms parents are Surinamese & Antillean over here alot of white people think its perfectly normal to say stuff about black people like Baboon slave stupid niggers and if you try to stand up to that crap all of the sudden you're being aggressive and can't handle jokes i personally don't think its funny if someone is ridiculing a persons culture but it seems alot of white people love to do it...

Anonymous said...

I just saw this movie on a plane ride and I thought it was a bad dream. All the outrageous behavior was one thing but the messages that 1- Black people weren't selling out if they knew how to behavior at a dinner party 2- Black woman are crazy, fat and will have sex anywhere and everywhere, and our families think this behavior is normal (mom cooking and brothers playing videos during loud sex) I don't know what the purpose of this movie was but to destroy positive images of Black people.

BTW- Loved White Man's Burden

World Traveling Black Woman said...

The Black person from the Netherlands should look at the economic racism in the country. Having biracial children doesn't make racism different. when most people of color live in "poor unsafe neighborhoods" isn't an accident. I'm stunned you aren't more offended.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is mostly white Dutch people wondering if this movie is racist. On Curacao it was just seen as a fun movie. You really have no insight in dutch culture if you call this racist. what is a problem in the Netherlands is that many kids (also white) have adopted what they see in the (bad type) rap videos as the norm and they think that is the way the need to behave and kids think it is cool to act gangster.
Perhaps even more here then in America and they are not ashamed of it at all, which is exactly where the problem lies. however even those that made it out of that downward spiral just laugh about this movie too. you can not judge the movie until you see the subtitles and actually know how things are really like in those neighborhoods here and how Dutch and society works the Surinamese and Caribbeans are closely tied to the dutch culture by history and have had to live with each other for decades. making it more easy for some types of humor to cross what for you may seem crossing the line, less things are taboo here.
They are more understanding towards each other then perhaps in other EU countries with immigrants without such a long connected history.






Anonymous said...


Edit Anonymous said...

the notion that a black actor would turn down a fictional depiction of himself/herself seems rather impossible given the economics of the situation..i.e.they act, being directed, they get paid.. paid being the point here. the film also depicts the idea of a jewish family being somewhat foolish and stupid.. fact, the whole thing is rather one big lunatic asylum.. filled with landmined stereotypes and ignorance..jeroen krabe, a noted hollywood actor should have known better indeed all the so-called dutch actors am sure.. know better.. that said.. the conversation should not only focus itself on the negativity surrounding our people but rather the whole ecosystem of complete and utter disbelief brought on by the negation of all inherent stereotypes..there are many examples in the annals of american cinema that has done little or nothing to further these sort of modern day films.. one only has to look at goodtimes,archie bunker, sandford and sons, and many many more from the bowels of the 70's film era.. nothing to be gained here, but a missed opportunity to really show the pathos of ignorance on both ends of the spectrum..this maybe holland's attempt at guess who is coming to dinner, and the many other fetishizing effects of the exotic other..
erasmus said it way back when, the dutch are always 50 years behind current trends.. that said the flood gates are open and let the stereotyping being..

Anonymous said...

From what I've seen of the film, and granted its that's only the clip, the movie seems highly suspect. But rather than worrying about a white filmmaker's motives for making such a movie, I'm much more interested in why black filmmakers and videographers feel entitled to abuse their communities by portraying black women as either whores, sexual predators and golddiggers who presumably turn into aggressive, mad seniors. Tyler Perry, and but I, as a proud and educated black woman find it bizarre that we've allowed the likes of Perry Tyler, Eddie Murphy and numerous hip-hop performers to do what it seems this movie is doing - creating warped views of black women which can only hurt us.

Marcos said...

I would like to recommend another film along the lines of what is being suggested. That is 'Bamboozled' by Spike Lee, where a middle class well to do black TV producer comes up with a concept for a program: a 21st century minstrel show.

His intention is to make this outrageously racist show for purely selfish reasons (he wants to be fired) and convinces two starving black artists to take on the lead roles. The show turns out to be a success, to the shock and horror of many.

This was no great commercial success either but it is very sharp satire I think that manages to get its message across without falling into the trap of simply reproducing the imagery of oppression.

Marcos said...

I think it is particularly good in that it blows out of the water any argument that suggests racist stereotypes can be used in an ironic way. The fact this film does not even have pretension of being ironic is very depressing. A throwback to another era, it seems.

Anonymous said...

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Tran Mere said...

Perhaps some blacks (especially men) liked this film because they believe in myth of their sexual superiority. "Alleen maar nette mensen" stereotyped several myths which are still amazingly believed by both white and black folks. Here are some of these:

- ultra-hyper black sexuality
- women, especially black women as pure gold diggers and glory hunters
- white men who are dating interracial are weird and living in fantasies
- whites are rational people and blacks just animals
- life of white folks is safe but boring
- life of black folks is insecure but fascinating

Let's check how these stereotypes are working in our societies. Prof. Camille Nelson, dean of Suffolk Law School, relates a personal account as a black woman married to a white man. While she and her husband were enjoying a wedding anniversary trip to a Caribbean resort, they were approached by an American tourist, who asked the conservatively dressed couple sitting in the piano lounge, “Are you two porn stars?” In the mind of the stranger, their pairing was so tinged by race — blocking any possibility of a real relationship — that he only saw sex.


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