You may justifiably call the TV Series "De kleine waarheid" (The little truth) Dutch cultural heritage. First of all, the script bases on a trilogy by Jan Mens, who between 1930-1960 was a popular Dutch writer. Second, the story is located in Amsterdam, always worth a peek. Be ware, most of the scenes are recorded in a studio. Third, it is a nice sketch of the first half of the past century, including two world wars. Fourth, the main character Marleen is played by Willeke Alberti, the youngest descendant from a well-known Dutch singer family. In addition the size of the production makes it monumental: 26 episodes of 45 minutes each. And I have seen them all! Twofold! Curious? Read on! The story narrates the life of a girl from a family of servants, whose forward character brings her into the upper middle-classes. Many scenes play in the impoverished artistic circles, that have settled in the proletarian quarters. Don't expect any shocking or exciting moments. Even the attempted rape of our heroine in her first job as a house maid fails miserably. To be fair, there is one suicide. The merit of the series should be found in the character studies, and in 1200 minutes you can study a lot. Soap is probably the technical term. The central theme is probably the infertility of Jan, Marleens husband. Here it comes, so prick your ears! Since Marleen has a truly existential need for children, the situation jeopardizes the marriage. She dives into a short and almost pre-arranged affair with an artist, just to get pregnant. This causes problems. They start weeny, but in the end become enormous. Her secret becomes a public knowledge, although Marleen always denies it. She endures pricks of conscience. Jan gradually relapses under the situation. His physical "inadequateness" breaks his frail backbone. So be ware. The dick suffers from hyperventilation, develops gall stones, and eventually dies after the operation for their removal. It is a bitter parable of the childbirth. Or do I see things that are not there? Furthermore, is this marriage itself a lie? Evidently the balance is missing, which I attribute to Marleens bossy character. She loves to dicker. Surprisingly this topic, although gigantic, covers only the episodes 8-20. So yes, in quite some episodes the story seems to ramble and drags on. It seems drivel. Perhaps the fun here is the account of the Dutch whereabouts and the intricacies of its then social multi-layer pyramid. The series, a produce of the seventies, obviously explores the sentimental and nostalgic feelings of the then adult viewers. It (he? Willy van Hemert) adheres to the spirit of the age. Its appeal does not withstand the ravages of time, and may bore the younger generations. Again, be ware. A browse through the reviews is indeed telling. And what about those character studies? Marleens father is an Archie Bunker type, but with fits of real rage. For a cynic his can be fun. He dies young during a sequence of hearth strokes, while grousing about the belated physician. Marleens brother starts as a retarded child, but later develops into a gifted and self-confident sculptor. It is a mental miracle. In the last episode he discloses his autistic disposition. He certainly fooled me with that. Marleen herself is abandoned twice by her two first lover(s), and since then develops a special liking for older men. The dickens, this is psychology, perhaps even Freud! There are wise life lessons to be learned here. However, to be sure perhaps I should watch again (just kidding). In 1970 I saw the series for the first time, but as a child could not sense its depth. In fact, I forgot everything - so much for the human memory - except for the later agony and lamenting of the child-donating artist. Having said that, he may be merely teasing. Could well be. With De kleine waarheid you get what you put into it. So if you have plenty of time, and like being a dick, an Adrian Monk ... grab your chance. The subtitles are lacking.
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