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After several years without contact, Martijn visits his sister Daantje, who just started to live on her own in Amsterdam. He tells her he is going to make a documentary from her life, and enters her home live with a video camera. This creates tension between Daantje and her brother because he wants to recall something that happened between them in the past. To keep Martijn at a distance, Daantje starts a relationship with Ramón, but Martijn gets between them. He manages to talk to her so that she remembers the things that happened when they were kids. This helps him to overcome his obsession for his sister, and after playing over their history, he is finally able to see her without the video camera like he did during the course of the movie. Written by
Dennis Jansen <Dennis.Jansen@student.bosb.wau.nl>
During the finishing credits, the film itself is suggested to be sold on a flea-market as "re-usable" videotape (the film is shot on video, supposedly the handy-cam of one of the main characters). See more »
Kim van Kooten (Daantje) hated for a long time: everybody kept talking to her about that film even though she had starred in other films and had written several screenplays. Well, that's what happens when you play in a film as staggering as 'Zusje' (Little Sister).
Ever since 1996 there have been many films with video or digital cameras, but Zusje manages to keep special. Here the camera is not just a toy, it's a main character (possibly even more the protagonist). The story of a troubled relationship between brother and sister isn't new (and certainly not in a Dutch film), but here the camera forces itself inbetween them as an instrument of Truth. All this gives you a weird feeling watching the movie (you're intruding Daantje's life much more than you want to), but there's a special atmosphere that manages to keep all the viewers watching (even those who saw the film on tv and missed the beginning).
It's difficult to think of a movie that is more "in your face" than Zusje. It's hard not to see Kim van Kooten's talent in this film. It's hard to find a better Dutch film. Robert Jan Westdijk's later attempts at films got less excited reviews, which could remind us of the Orson Welles story. Still, Orson Welles Westdijk ain't and even if Westdijk turns out to be a "one hit wonder", that shouldn't keep you from watching Zusje.
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