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Review: Yvette (2008)

Director: | 40 minutes |

An ordinary adolescent girl who is followed with a camera for a year and a half would not have produced such a good story if it had not been for a dramatic event that took the life of this girl in a special turn. “Yvette” has become a fascinating documentary that shows what the life of a tough teenager looks like, and that hardcore fans and Lonsdale supporters also know their insecurities.

Yvette is in the last year of her education. She is a difficult teenager. At school she has a fight with everyone, she hangs out in the street with her friends, they play hardcore and wear Lonsdale clothes. She has been banned from school a few times and is in bad shape. Simonka de Jong follows Yvette in the last year and a half of her school period. She shows that Yvette is just an ordinary girl with her insecurities. She also wants to belong somewhere, just like everyone else. The moments when Yvette looks directly into the camera are the moments when we really get to know her as a viewer.

It’s all a nice idea and De Jong has certainly chosen the right girl for a documentary. Everyone has their prejudices about young people who walk in Lonsdale clothing. And it is very interesting to see how such a girl lives, what concerns her. Yet after seeing this documentary an important question remains in the air. Was Simonka de Jong just “lucky” that Yvette’s life took such a dramatic turn? And is the success of this documentary due to that? Without this event, this documentary would not be the same. It wouldn’t be interesting enough after half an hour. However, the viewer now has a good feeling about it. It is nice to see how a girl, who you see at first sight as an adolescent, turns out to be very mature and yet can make her own choices. That is the strength of this documentary, but the question is whether we owe that to the maker or whether her luck helped her here.

It is Yvette herself in particular who makes this documentary move you. It is she who impresses with her personality. It is nice that there are also direct conversations with Yvette in which she speaks in front of the camera, so as a viewer you get an even better picture of her. It’s really a shame that you are left with the feeling that De Jong has just made a lucky goal with Yvette.

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