The Dutch controversial film Only Decent People by director Lodewijk Crijns has reached the status of Golden Film. Since its release on Thursday 11 October, more than 100.000 visitors have seen the film, according Entertainment Business.
On behalf of the Dutch Film Festival and the Dutch film fund the Golden Film award was handed to Géza Weisz (David), producers Arnold Heslenfeld en Frans van Gestel en Imanuelle Grives (Rowanda). The film now runs in 75 theatres in the Netherlands.
According De Stentor, the film is also very popular in Suriname and Curacao.
According Het Parool, in a discussion about the film last Thursday an actress (who didn’t want her name in the paper) said she would have turned the role down on principal, if she had the choice. "I do not think everyone links acting to a lager interest, but as black actress you do have that responsibly. You have a responsibility towards the entire community. "
Next to her, with an impressive Rasta bun, sits a fellow actress. "I was asked to audition for the role of Rowanda, but I refused. I told the makers I have integrity problems with this role. But on the other hand, it is difficult to get a foot in the door as a black actress. So therefore I can understand that Grives has accepted the role, but at the same time I can be very angry about it. "
The debate was held on 25 October in Amsterdam Southeast, but only 19 people (many of whom who had not seen the film) showed up. This could be attributed to an important football match that evening, or that the controversy has passed its climax, according the newspaper.
One of the persons who also opposed the film is writer, theater maker, performer and multimedia producer Quinsy Gario. He made international headlines when he was violently arrested last year when he wanted to demonstrate against Black Pete character at a Sinterklaas celebration. See his opinion at his website Space Invaders: Alleen Maar Nette Mensen: The Netherlands and the continued dehumanization of black people.
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The reason why there isn't such a huge oposition against the film perhaps also has to do with the fact that the opposition against this story has reached it’s climax when the book was published in 2009. Another problem is that on most Surinamese forums in the Netherlands, the majority still see it as a comedy and feel the movie is not about them, but about “those ghetto blacks" in the Bijlmer in Amsterdam Southeast.