Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
In this fascinating, four-hour documentary on the international city of Amsterdam, director Johan van der Keuken has taken a careful look at a variety of the city's inhabitants and traced their activities -- or their roots -- out into third-world countries and regions and then always back to the city again. First, a Moroccan courier on a Moped leads a tour up and down the promenades that line the canals. Then the camera follows everyone from businessmen to vagrants, to free-living street youth as they travel into and out of the city. Among the trips taken out of the city are a journey to Bolivia with a certain Ricardo, a business trip to Grozny in Chechnya, and then a jaunt to Thailand. These diverse journeys are kept in order by means of the passing of the seasons, and as in life, one story follows on top of another, often containing a mini-documentary within its telling. One effect of van der Keuken's technique is to illustrate the liaisons between a thriving industrial city and the third-world regions around the globe.