Sandra Beerends
Netherlands 2019 | 78 min
Thu, 13-May-21 09:00 PM
On demand: May 6-16th
Q&A via Zoom with:
Sandra Beerends
» Trailer

Mama, I miss you so much,” begins a letter Alima writes to her mother. She is one of count­less Indone­sian women work­ing as a “babu,” or nanny, for a Dutch family in the former Dutch East Indies of the 1940s. The voice of a nar­ra­tor speak­ing to her dead mother floats through this com­pelling and insight­ful piece of cinema, rem­i­nis­cent of home movies and news­reels. In the days of colo­nial rule, it was common for Dutch fam­i­lies to make Super8 or 16mm films for friends and rel­a­tives to show them life in the colony: the chil­dren, the abun­dance of trop­i­cal fruits, the exotic idio­syn­crasies. The maids usu­al­ly played only a mar­gin­al role. From this per­spec­tive of rule and almost 500 pic­ture sources, con­trast­ed with the nar­ra­tion of many maids, Sandra Beerends com­piles her teach­ing tale on topics such as self-deter­mi­na­tion, wom­en’s rights and oppres­sion and expos­es the one-sid­ed­ness of the writ­ing of his­to­ry, as it is still taught in many places today.

Sandra Beerends from the Nether­lands is a screen­writer, pro­duc­er and direc­tor of fea­ture films and doc­u­men­taries. She works for the Dutch TV sta­tion NTR and runs her own film pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny called “Beru­ang”. Her work includes the co-pro­duc­tion and script-edit­ing of KAUWBOY (2012, by Boudewi­jn Koole), and she wrote the script of the short ARIGATO (2012, R: Anielle Web­ster). THEY CALL ME BABU is her debut as a director.

Direc­tor, script: Sandra Beerends
Edit­ing: Ruben van der Hammen
Com­pos­er: Alex Simu
Voice Alima: Denise Aznam
Research: Dorette Schoote­mei­jer, Hans van den Berg
Line-Pro­duc­er: Celine Baggen Production,
dis­tri­b­u­tion: PVH Pieter van Hui­js­tee, Rudolf Kats  -