Review: Room 330 (2019)

Room 330 (2019)

Directed by: Jenneke Boeijink | 12 minutes | short film, drama | Actors: Rhodé Gerrits, Richelle Plantinga

For the twentieth year in a row, the NTR, the Netherlands Film Fund, the NPO Fund and CoBo are organizing KORT!. New and established directors and screenwriters are given the opportunity to make high-quality short films with international potential. SHORT! consists of ten short fiction films with a maximum length of ten minutes. Portrait and casting photographer Jenneke Boeijink previously shot the short film ‘Twilight’ (2007) and the TV films ‘Proces’ (2010) and ‘Back’ (2012). Her first full-length film, ‘Porcelain’, should be released this year. The film, with Peggy Vrijens, Johan Heldenbergh and Mattijn Hartemink in important roles, among others, is currently in its final phase. Before we can view Boeijink’s first ‘long player’, an NTR KORT! contribution from her can be seen, ‘Kamer 330’ (2019). In this approximately ten-minute film, a young girl is confronted with the facts in a confrontational way.

Linde (newcomer Rhodé Gerrits) has a side job as a chambermaid in a luxurious hotel. She doesn’t always show up on time and doesn’t take the job too seriously, but that will soon change. On the day she turns seventeen and has an important evaluation meeting with the manager (Peter Blok), she hears strange noises in the room next to her while she unsuspectingly makes beds and clears tables. A man screams, a woman wails. Her curiosity is aroused; what is happening in room 330? Although there is a ‘Do not disturb’ card on the door handle, she decides to knock on the door, but only when she is sure that the man has left the door. She finds an African girl of her own age, who clearly does not allow herself to be locked up in a hotel room of her own free will. Is the hotel a cover for shady business? Is the neat-looking manager aware of the human trafficking practices going on right under his nose? And who else is turning a blind eye?

From one moment to the next Linde grows up: she is confronted with the dark sides of our society in a fierce way. As innocent as it all seemed, so harsh is the reality. And how privileged you are to be born like Linde in the western world, in a prosperous country like the Netherlands where everyone has the chance to make something of their life. ‘Room 330’ is a film with a message: open your eyes and take a good look around you. Think about the privileged position you have. The film (consciously) does not show what Linde does with the knowledge that the world is not always as beautiful as it seems (or as you would like it to be): as a viewer you can draw your own conclusions from that. ‘Room 330’ offers food for thought: what would you do if you were Linde? Do you accept your manager’s offer and go for your own opportunities, or do you abruptly withdraw from the abuses and let the idealist in you speak? The young Rhodé Gerrits convincingly shows a girl who is ambivalent; she has yet to find her way in life. Boeijink, who not only directed but also wrote the screenplay, with her background as a photographer knows how to handle striking close-ups. A film that makes you think.

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