‘Zomergasten’ (summerguests), a Dutch TV programm in which one Dutch prominent guests gets to show us his or her favourite TV/film footage. Some three weeks ago the summer guest was Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch minister of Culture.
Plasterk selected movie and TV footage that impressed him. Some were related to his earlier career as a biologist (he is a price-winning molecular geneticist, see wikipedia), like a scene about the discovery of the double DNA string (‘The race for the double helix’). Others to his current position as the Dutch minister of culture, like this little English scene from ‘Yes Minister’ that mocks the English cultural policy makers and that questions whether Opera, culture for the elite, should be subsidized, amusing and to the point. After these scenes Plasterk moved on to art, politics and his personal life as well as his fathers. He selected the documentary by Jeroen Berkvens about the child prodigy, guitar playing virtuous, whose life got troubled, ‘Jimmy Rosenberg: The Father, the son, the talent’ (see review earlier in this blog), and the opening film of the IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) about personal stories from Iraq veterans, ‘Operation homecoming’. A discussion between presenter Bas Heijne (excellent interview by the way) about war-veterans in general and politics followed. Veterans are forgotten in politics and do not catch the public eye, nobody seems to know how to deal with these people who fought in the name of their country, who seem to have experienced the unthinkable, and some of whom seem unable to ever adapt to society again. A very sensitive and intriguing topic. The movie of choice was ‘Betrayal’ (1983) based on a Pinter play, that got an oscar nomination for this script. All in all the footage chosen provided us with a highly interesting evening. The warrior is looking forward to seeing today’s broadcast with sociologist Willem Schinkel. Next week theatre producer Joop van den Ende will be the last ‘Zomergast’ of the season.
More information on this program: Check the VPRO-website (in Dutch)