“I was a kind of a tree-trunk overgrown with moss,” said writer Annie M. G. Schmidt in 1992 in a legendary interview with Ischa Meijer – a graphic description of how she was in her early years often felt. Her grandson Jonathan van Duijn was only seven when she in 1995 died. In a four-part documentary he goes looking for the places and events that are her life.
He travels to Kapelle in Zeeland, where Schmidt in 1911, was born as the daughter of a pastor. Her dominant mother Truida gave her a cosmopolitan education: no flat accent and traditional Zeeland costume for …
He travels to Kapelle in Zeeland, where Schmidt in 1911, was born as the daughter of a pastor. Her dominant mother Truida gave her a cosmopolitan education: no flat accent and traditional Zeeland costume for her Annie. The photos that Van Duijn shows, you see a chubby child that what is uncomfortable in her own skin – an outsider. What he says is that this feeling in her life has long haunted. He wrote about her bad grades at school, her rebellious pubergedrag, her first wild night with a top-to-toe in leather wrapped pilot. The anecdotes are neatly strung together and larded with photographs, historical images, images of the grandson who is in Schmidts footsteps follows and passages from her work – in this episode especially sometimes too long-drawn-out fragments from musicalnummers. Though it is nice to be reminded that “On a beautiful pentecost” and ” Flights can no longer’ Schmidts sleeve.
Truida wanted to be Annie in the line and sent her to The Hague civil-law notaries to study under the guidance of her older brother, Wim, but the daughter amused himself with feasts, movie and boys. In 1930, she became pregnant of a boy with whom it never could be’, as Van Duijn laconic reports, because he was a homosexual – a notion that the provincial Annie had to be explained. How the pregnancy ended, let the documentary in limbo. Also Annejet van der Zijl groped about in the darkness in her biography Anna: with family have caught them on that Annie had an abortion underwent, in bibliotheekkringen in which she later worked for the rumour went that the child for adoption was granted. Van Duijn cycle around it. His next stop is Annie’s stay with three noble sisters in Hanover, where they say at least a year, and according to Van der Zijl, less than three months remained – Schmidt turned in her memoirs and in interviews, her life is like. The looks we get at her grandson, only its version will hear it.
Van Duijn ends with Annie’s appointment in 1946 as chief of Documentation at the newspaper het Parool, where she quickly became a writer there. He brings it all entertaining, but what’s superficial and a little braafjes. A critical tone, he will probably not catch on. But that you might also be difficult to expect from a grandson who is mainly a tribute wants to bring to his grandmother.
Annie M. G. Schmidt. Tuesday, to 20.25 hours on NPO2.