Klanken van Oorsprong
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About this movie
Director Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich (Buitenkampers, Contractpensions), in her new documentary Sounds of Origin, shows the stories of several artists with an Indo-Dutch background, who, together with more than 350,000 other Indonesian Dutch, were forced to return to their original homeland, the Netherlands, between 1945 and 1962. Once in the Netherlands, Indo-Dutch bands such as The Tielman Brothers and The Crazy Rockers immediately received a lot of support from the extremely enthusiastic Dutch youth, who had a big appetite for rock ‘n’ roll music. Indo-Dutch singers and songwriters such as Sandra Reemer, Liesbeth List, and Boudewijn de Groot also caused a furore. Anneke Grönloh along with Ruud and Riem de Wolff (The Blue Diamonds) even gained international fame, as did the brothers Eddie and Alex van Halen, who emigrated to the US.
Although all these musicians are very different, they share many things in common: their experiences of war, their flights from Indonesia, and their struggles to start over again and adjust to life in a foreign country. And then there was the music, the most important outlet for them, and the thing they shared most of all. Sounds of Origin is a powerful mosaic of stories about survival in difficult circumstances, the origins of the people portrayed, and the search for identity, all interspersed with (swinging) music and never-before-seen archival material of both musical performances and the colonial era. Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich shows in a penetrating way how Indo-Dutch musicians managed to assimilate while maintaining a hint of nostalgia, and how, without knowing it, they brought about a change in the Dutch music landscape and beyond.