Review: Venserpolder (2019)


Directed by: Teddy Cherim | 11 minutes | short film, drama | Actors: Emmanuel Ohene Boafo, Kimberley Agyarko, Glenn Ascension, Nana Poku, Quayson Kwabena, Yakuba Mohammed, Nana Ansah, Patricia Konadu, Polina Amoakoah, Fridolin Dela Kwaku Fiakpui, Comfort Ohene Boafo, Ahmed Mustapha Gbeku

“Venserpolder” is a short film about the close-knit, almost completely independently operating, Ghanaian community in the Amsterdam neighborhood of the same name. The centerpiece of the film is 28-year-old Williams. He has lived in the Netherlands for years, but his family (father, mother, younger brother) live in Ghana. Williams is well off here. His cleaning company is more successful than ever and orders are pouring in. At the same time, we also see the other side of Williams life. An employee expresses her displeasure when she notices that a client of William’s refuses to look him in the eye. Williams has no problems with it. “The Dutch are ashamed that they can pay a cleaner.”

When his mother calls, he hardly has time to talk to her. It is clear that his mother is not happy with the situation. She expresses concern that her son is no longer speaking Twi (which he proves otherwise) and is concerned about Williams’ father’s health. William brushes off her fears.

But not much later he hears that his father has died. Williams turns out to be the son of a beloved king of a Ghanaian tribe. This fact puts his future in a completely different light. Where he previously assumed that he could work in the Netherlands for the rest of his life, expand his business and perhaps finally win over Cynthia, that beautiful Ghanaian woman, he now feels the pressure of the community and his family in Ghana . As crown prince, he is expected to return to Ghana.

“Venserpolder” was written by Ashar Medina. He previously wrote the screenplay for One Night Stand film “Tom Adelaar” and Kort! film “Polyp” (both 2018). It is directed by Teddy Cherim, who you may know from “Strong Stories (2010) and” Goodwill Dumping “(2019). In just 11 minutes, the cast and crew manage to paint a clear picture of the Ghanaian community in Amsterdam. Leading actor Emmanuel Ohene Boafo effortlessly succeeds in drawing us into his emotional world. The tragedy of an immigrant, but different from what you might expect.

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