Quite idealistic (post-war) but beautiful work of art
As others have pointed out, this documentary provides a 'peek' into the past of the Netherlands. But as with most peeks in the past, they tend to get idealistic and nostalgic. With this documentary that's very easy, because the whole point of the documentary was to provide an optimistic view on Dutch life; something that was pretty necessary in Western Europe in this post-war era when the economic and social effects of World War II could still be felt all around. As a result, this documentary shows you only the beautiful, the innocent, the pleasant side of life. The most nasty thing you get to see here, is a couple fighting in the park. As long as you're aware of this however, it is a beautifully made work of art. This was also one of the first documentaries (at least in the Netherlands, but maybe even globally) which made extensive use of candid cameras. Pretty much the whole film consists of people being filmed without them being aware of it, or at least without their consent. This is also an interesting element of the film because it is a thing that you could never properly repeat nowadays. Bert Haanstra invented the candid camera as a way to show people in a vulnerable and innocent way. Camera's weren't all around in the public sphere; a lot of people didn't even have a TV yet. Nowadays, people are aware that everywhere, anytime, you could be filmed, especially when something unexpected happens out on the street. So if you were to repeat this experiment, you'd probably get quite different results; in all probability people would act much less vulnerable/natural the moment they notice they are being filmed. This was not the case then, so if only for that reason, this film is a unique document of both life and filmography.
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