Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Set in the tough, impoverished year of 1934 in Amsterdam, when people were desperate for jobs and food, this sentimental story is based on a World War II novel by Piet Bakker about a streetwise, lonely kid named Ciske who lives with his harsh and shrewish mother and is raised without affection or gentleness. As directed by Guido Pieters, Ciske (Danny de Munk) has lost the persona of a basically innocent urchin trying to cope and has become a more worldly-wise, modern youngster with a bent toward improvisation. This clash between the sophisticated present and the simpler past continues in other aspects of the filmed story as well, and along with disjunctions in the sequencing of scenes, perhaps due to heavy editing, undermines the charming and accomplished acting of the 14-year-old lead and the young supporting actors.
innocence, loneliness, mother, shrew, street-smart