Review: Ten minute conversation (2018)

Ten minute conversation (2018)

Directed by: Jamille van Wijngaarden | 12 minutes | comedy, short film | Actors: Raymonde de Kuyper, Randy Fokke

Renske de Greef was only sixteen years old when the Netherlands first became acquainted with her. She wrote striking columns about sex and relationships for the online youth magazine Spunk. Two years later she caused a furore with the column ‘Lust’, which was published in book form and sold more than 12,000 times. De Greef continued to work on the road; her first novel was published in 2007 and a year later she set up a youth magazine in the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam. In recent years she has focused on comics, with a drawn column in NRC. Her first comic book was also published in 2017. But De Greef has more to offer. She wrote her first film script, for example, for the short film ‘Tenminutes Conversation’ (2018), which was presented in the context of NTR Kort! is broadcast.

‘Ten-minute conversation’ initially seems to be riding on the success of the television series ‘De lice mother’, which a few million Dutch people watched weekly in 2018. The set-up is very recognizable for parents with children at primary school. Mother Marit (Randy Fokke) has a ten-minute conversation with the teacher (Raymonde de Kuyper) of her son Lucas. She comes to get a story because she believes that her child is being patronized too much and cannot lose his masculine energy. Instead of tinkering with finger paint and glitter, he should frolic and romp. According to her, the fact that he has made the ‘guest bear’ a head smaller is perfectly normal behavior for a boy who investigates the world around him. Miss Yvonne tries to remain calm and professional, but we soon see that there is a lot of frustration behind that facade. There is so much pent-up frustration that Marit is scared. And rightly so, because teacher Yvonne turns out to be quite explosive! Pieces of furniture and toys fly through the classroom, tubes of finger paint are squeezed and Marit is sent to the corner.

In this ten-minute film, directed by Jamille van Wijngaarden, many clichés about primary education are ridiculed. Parents who have no idea what a teacher’s job actually entails, who see their own child as an angel who can never make a mistake and who do come to put things in order during their ten minutes of speaking time. The fact that boys are no longer real boys, but are slowly ‘troubling’, has also been in the news in recent years. Our sympathy lies from the start with the teacher, who is played wonderfully by the experienced Raymonde de Kuyper (Roos from ‘Villa Achterwerk’), who gives her character a strong dose of irony with her slightly affected voice. Even when she goes completely out of her mind, she still retains our sympathy. In the forty years that she has been teaching, she has always done her best and withstood every change without murmuring. Day in and day out she took care of other people’s children. You give her respect and she clearly doesn’t get that from the know-it-all Marit. Yes, she’s going all out, slightly over the top of course, but at least she convinces us that she has every right to do so.

So justice. But where ‘Ten Minute Talk’ really shines is the hilarious script. The dialogues between Fokke and De Kuyper are not only very recognizable but also very witty and funny. As far as we’re concerned, De Greef can write film scripts more often!

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