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Vox Populi (2008)

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Vox Populi is a black comedy about an experienced politician suffering from a midlife crisis. When he comes into contact with the common-man's logic of his new in-laws, this has a ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Tom Jansen ...
Jos Fransen
Esmarel Gasman ...
Bata Miodrag Milojevic ...
Femke Lakerveld ...
Ton Kas ...
Marion van Thijn ...
Beppie Melissen ...
Hilde Van Mieghem ...
Hakim Traidia ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Daniël Afful ...
Officier Afrikaans vliegveld
Yoeri Albrecht ...
Dragan Bakema ...
Marlies Bark ...
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Vox Populi is a black comedy about an experienced politician suffering from a midlife crisis. When he comes into contact with the common-man's logic of his new in-laws, this has a far-reaching effect on both his political and his personal life. Written by Anonymous

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23 October 2008 (Netherlands)  »

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Featured in Pauw & Witteman: Episode #3.29 (2008) See more »

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An enjoyable comedy about anti-immigration parties
11 November 2011 | by (Netherlands, Utrecht) – See all my reviews

The film Vox Populi explores the rise of anti-immigration parties in Europe, in this particular case those in the Netherlands. The aversion against migrants is somewhat alien to the Dutch history, where for instance the French Huguenots and the Jewish community had brought an acknowledged positive stimulus to the nation. On the other hand an unlimited migration must of course lead to an unsustainable situation. In the Netherlands this clash of realities has in the past decade led to two political murders, that shook our society. It is not surprising, that film maker Eddy Terstall, who had previously produced the fairly successful film Simon, decided to devote a film to the subject. In fact he is especially apt to do this project, since he is also politically engaged in the center-left, and thus is an insider with respect to the political culture. The result of his efforts is a spectacle, that is witty, lighthearted and doesn't contain a single dull moment. The main character is Jos, the leader of a party of left-wing liberals (the Red-Greens, an obvious persiflage of the existing Green Left Party). One day his daughter, who is an actress, assists in a role play for the army, and falls in love with an officer (Sjef) from the military police. Sjef stems from a working class family of the Archie Bunker type. When Jos gets acquainted with the family of Sjef, he is somehow impressed by the prejudiced and outspoken ideas of the family, especially about migrants. He starts to use their opinions in his own parliamentary speeches and comments, and as a result shoots up in the opinion polls. Terstall clearly enjoys to bring ridicule on this sudden change of tone, and does this with humor. Eventually a fundamental cleric issues a video message, in which a fatwa (death sentence) is pronounced on Jos. Even this incident is treated lightly by Terstall. Suddenly Jos becomes filled with disgust at what he sees as the unwarranted complaints by the spoiled Dutch people. He refuses to further voice their worries, and emigrates to the sunny former Yugoslavia. In this emigration he is joined by the family of Sjef, who in the midst of migrants no longer feel at home in their own neighborhood. In addition to a respectable casting Terstall managed to include guest appearances of nearly all the well-known hosts of Dutch political talk shows on TV. It is a wink at the often decisive role of the media in promoting the ideas of anti-migration parties. In addition the film portrays the covert racism among the politicians themselves. It also makes fun of the sexual escapades of leading politicians, who lack the nuptial commitment of the common people. It seems that the Dutch film industry has a special talent for this kind of comedies, where anti-social and a frivolous behavior are mixed and the subject of persiflage (see also the famous series of the Flodder family). In this aspect we have a certain congeniality with the British. In conclusion, Vox populi is an enjoyable film that accurately observes and portrays present-day politics, and therefore deserves a broad audience. However the warning is in place, that due to the humorous approach the explanations or solutions for a very real problem are barely addressed. In this respect the closing appeal for tolerance seems a bit cheap.

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