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> Willeke Van Ammelrooy

In the film clip shown here, as yet without English-language sub titles or dubbing, movie actress Willeke van Ammelrooy stresses the importance of the current project for making a docudrama on mothers and children in Japanese concentration camps, in Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. The images are alternated with early film fragments, before her detention, of then toddler Henriette Geel, author of the book which forms the basis for the docudrama.

Willeke was approached in May 2003 by Connie Suverkropp, Henriette van Raalte-Geel, and Derk HilleRisLambers. They sought advice on how to proceed in order to get a movie made based on Henriette's book, in order to give the Dutch public at large an idea of this important part of the history of many Dutch people.

Why Willeke Van Ammelrooy?

Willeke herself has no history in Dutch East Indies/Indonesia, but her interest in this war episode was aroused after she was approached to play a role in a movie to be based on a book by Dutch Canadian author Ernest Hilllen (Ways of a boy) in which he describes his experience as a young boy in Japanese detention. Willeke had drawn the attention of the Canadian film makers by her role in Antonia‚Äôs Line which won the public's price in the 1995 Toronto Filmfestival, and an Oscar in 1996. She subsequently acquired and read some fifteen books on this subject, and has made no secret of her opinion that this part of the history of the Dutch has been grossly under-represented in serious films.