A film by Barbara den Uyl
For a whole year, the film crew followed events at the Mondriaancollege. A secondary school in a part of Amsterdam where 90% of the pupils are immigrant parentage, mainly Turkish and Moroccan but with fifteen other nationalities represented.
The Mondriaan lyceum was one of the first Dutch secondary schools to choose to attune its policy to the increasing influx of immigrant pupils. The school provides education in the mother tongue, while all lessons also focus on Dutch as second language. All teachers have attended courses to ensure they can put across their message in more comprehensible Dutch. A team of teachers, tutors, coordinators, advisers and interpreters are available for all pupils. Despite the fact that Dutch parents increasingly send their children to a “white” school, the Mondriaanlyceum in convinced that this approach also helps the Dutch pupil.
The filmmaker Barbara den Uyl herself taught at this school twenty years ago. At that time it was predominantly white. She wondered what it was like to teach all these nationalities and whether her ex-colleagues were still motivated. Another motive is more general. While our society is getting increasingly cosmopolitan, there is a big gap between the different cultures. The film is an attempt to make contact.”With a kiss from teacher” provides a picture in two parts of the lower and upper school at the Mondriaanlyceum. Both parts form a coherent whole, but can also be viewed separately.
In part I we follow a group of fourteen year-olds in the school’s lowest stream. A wide range of problems and disruptions in communication unfold. The teacher who plays the leading role is also coordinator and she individually counsels all problems, big and small. The pupil Tefik is a special case. He is often absent and provides mysterious explanations of his absence, yet always gets good marks
In part II we become acquainted with the older pupils. This film focus on Hannae, a Moroccan girl of sixteen. She leaves school because she doesn’t have any friends, gets engaged in Morocco and returns to school. As well as usual learning difficulties – dissatisfaction about marks, conflicts between teachers and pupils and between the pupils themselves – some conflicts have cultural roots whether to wear a headscarf, arranged marriages, wanting to be Dutch while retaining respect in one’s own community.
This film is available on DVD
94 minutes / colour / optical sound / S-16mm / 35mm / Beta SP / VHS / Digi Beta
Direction/screenplay: Barbara den Uyl
Camera: Brigit Hillenius, Jaap Veldhoen
Sound: Jac Vleeshouwers, Tom d’Angremond, Eddy Decloe, Jane Snijders, Karel Evers
Editing: Jan Ketelaars
Production: Heleen Snuverink
Translation to English: Martin Cleaver
Translation to Turkish: Meltem Cicekli
Producer: Leen van den Berg
Sales: Van der Hoop Filmproducties
This film has been realised thanks to financial support of Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund, Projectmanagement Taalbeleid NT2, Katholiek Pedagogisch Centrum and Projectgroep NT2
© Van der Hoop Filmproducties / VARA 1994