6.7/10
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4 user 12 critic

Publieke werken (2015)

In 1888 Amsterdam, a stubborn violin maker and his pharmacist cousin face hardship and tragedy as they oppose the powerful businessmen who plan to force him from his house and erect a luxurious new hotel in its place.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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1 win & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Anijs
...
Martha
Zeb Troostwijk ...
Klein Pet
Juda Goslinga ...
Bennemin
Elisabeth Hesemans ...
Mother Bennemin
...
Johanna Bennemin
Sander van Amsterdam ...
Lubber
Houk van Warmerdam ...
Sieger
...
Ebert
Leon Voorberg ...
Henkenhaf
John Leddy ...
Mr. Carstens
Tobias Kersloot ...
Theo
...
Schuurman
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hanne Arendzen ...
Receptioniste Henkenhaf
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Storyline

1888: a luthier, Vedder (Gijs Scholten van Aschat), has to step aside when his home, opposite the recently completed Central Station in Amsterdam, must yield for the planned Victoria Hotel. His cousin Anijs (Jacob Derwig), pharmacist in the Northern provinces of the Netherlands, has gotten into a fix after illegal medical practices, and is looking for a way out. For himself and his wife Martha (Rifka Lodeizen), but also for a colony of poor peat cutters whom he promises a future in the United States. Committed - or is it pride? - the two of them think up a scheme from which they all will fully benefit. With tragic consequences. Written by Topkapi Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

10 December 2015 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

A Noble Intention  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

€156,430 (Netherlands), 13 December 2015, Limited Release
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The houses in Amsterdam featured in the story really exist and can be seen on the Prins Hendrikkade. See more »

Goofs

The colonists sailed in 1889 and arrived in New York a few months later. The statue of liberty is under construction while it was officially opened in 1886. See more »

Soundtracks

Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77
Composed by Johannes Brahms 1878
Performed Janine Jansen
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User Reviews

 
Waste of talent and means
12 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

Despite an expensive production, the narrative is unconvincing. "Value of location" is one of the main topics of the film. Nonetheless, the film does not give the viewer a sense of place.

The choice and ordering of scenes undermine any tension to be build up. The different story lines do not support, but destroy each other. Important changes in the plot are not properly introduced or visually translated. As a result the gradual emotional breakdown of the violin maker, one of the main characters, is not convincing. The end scene of the doctor, the other main character, is so ridiculous and pathetic that it melts down the entire Hoogeveen storyline. Vital themes such as social injustice, or the arrival of modernity are treated as interchangeable backdrop. A relevant storyline is lacking.

By result the causality of the narrative breaks down and all events become arbitrary.

Pretty frustrating, as Rosenboom's success novel must have had all layers in place. A film can never be as rich as a novel, but a film must present those strings that contain the story. That is unfortunately not the case here.


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