Polleke, A First True Love is a film that portrays love, marriage, divorce and family through the eyes of a girl. Polleke is an 11-year-old girl who wants to become a poet. Mimoen is a boy with eyes that resemble Africa. Though they are deeply in love, they suffer conflict coming from differences in race and religion. The generational conflict between parents who try to keep the heritage of Islamic culture intact in Western society and children who want to accept and adapt to new conditions, puts a strain on the young lovers’ lives. Meanwhile, Polleke’s daily life is complicated as it is: she is displeased with, but understands, her mom Tina, having a new boyfriend-her school teacher- and longs for and worries about her dad Spiek, who leads a life as little more than a wandering tramp. This fresh tale of growing up, adapted from Guus Kuijer’s novel, does not romanticize or justify the ‘teenagers’ from an adult point of view. It strives to draw them as independent individuals, each trying to do their best and be faithful to their lives. So though aping adults may seem childish, in another light, the act of ‘imitating adults’ is characteristic of teenagers and an important part of their worries. Just as Polleke’s girlfriend, adorned and ornamented in her not yet womanly body, plays the coquette passing the soccer field and enjoying the gazes of the boys.
Ineke HoutmanIneke Houtman
Born in 1956, Ineke Houtman studied literature for a while before taking up studies in cinematography and film directing at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy. A cinematographer and director, she has worked on films such as Paul Verhoeven’s Spetters on which she was camera assistant. Her work as a director has largely been for children’s television.