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One-way trip Rotterdam


The video film was made by Olivier Cohen Stuart and Frank Jan Kat, who are graduating from Erasmus University’s social history sub-faculty with this production.


Frank Jan Kat and Olivier Cohen Stuart worked on the film for over a year. Kat: “We had to do a lot of ‘oral history’. It turned out to us that this period of Rotterdam’s development is a neglected child. Even though the roots of the city of Rotterdam emerged during this period. (…) For the interviews in our film, we had to make do with the second generation of migrants. During our research, we still came across a lot of interesting material, which we could not put in the context of this film, because we limited ourselves to thirty-five minutes. We collected a lot of material that can still be worked out.


The revolutionary development of the Maas city at the turn of the century is discussed, as well as the related influx of ‘migrants’ from all parts of the Netherlands, their problems and the construction of the Boerenzij, as Rotterdam-Zuid was soon called.


The historical footage is provided with newly recorded commentary by Philip Bloemendaal, known from Polygoonjournaal. The film alternately features elderly former migrants talking about their youth in their living rooms, striking fragments from the VARA series Merijntje Gijzens jeugd, cartoons by Albert Hahn and posters from socialist organisations. Offscreen, Jules Deelder recites texts appropriate to the time and Dieuwertje Blok reads the connecting texts.


The entire film can be watched on YouTube.