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First Look At Film Adaptation Of Controversial Dutch Novel About Interracial Relationships

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by Tambay A. Obenson
June 18, 2012 12:15 PM
20 Comments
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Imanuelle Grives and Geza Weisz In "Only Decent People"
Imanuelle Grives and Geza Weisz In "Only Decent People"

Here's your first look (above) at the film adaptation of the controversial bestseller by Dutch Robert Vuijsje, titled Alleen Maar Nette Mensen (or Only Decent People).

Recall when we first alerted you to the project last fall, and all the strong reactions that followed - not just here on S&A, but in The Netherlands as well, since the book's release; its sounds like one of those things you need to see to actually believe... and even then may still not believe it.

Here's the official synopsis for the film adaptation: 

ONLY DECENT PEOPLE is a Dutch comedy based on the controversial bestseller by Robert Vuijsje. Starring Geza Weisz, Imanuelle Grives, Annet Malherbe & Jeroen Krabbe. David Samuels is from an intellectual Jewish family from the posh Amsterdam Old South, where he is often mistaken as Moroccan because of his dark hair. David is a remarkable man on a mission: to find a ghetto fabulous queen with great tits and thick buttocks. His parents and friends declare him mad, but David continues unabated. His search leads him to the Bijlmer, where, after some wild adventures he is left disappointed. Will David ever find his ideal woman - a large, dark sex goddess with booty and brains?

Like said, it's one of those things you need to actually read to believe, and even still may not believe it. 

It's not clear to me if this is a work of satire, or a spoof, or if there's more than meets the eye here. I haven't read the book (I couldn't even find any English translations of it yet), but if any of our Dutch readers are familiar with it, and/or have even read the book, please enlighten the rest of us.

The book is said to have been heavily criticized and debated within the Black community in The Netherlands, which maybe shouldn't be a surprise, given the above synopsis.

As the Afro-Europe blog noted last year, when we profiled the film:

Some people felt that the book cheapened black women and interracial relationships, but others felt that a lot of black women fit the profile and should therefore not complain about the stereotypes in the book.

All the links I found that discussed the book were in Dutch. There is even a video recording of the book being debated, but, again, it's in Dutch.

I learned over the weekend that the film adaptation will be released in The Netherlands on October 4, 2012, with actress Imanuelle Grives (Dutch, of Surinamese descent, and whom I made contact with over the weekend and hope to interview about the project soon) playing the lead black female character.

The photo above is a still from the film (the only one I found on the project's Facebook page). In it are Ms Grives in character, as our "ghetto fabulous queen," and the actor playing the Jewish dude. His name is Geza Weisz.

Watch out for an American remake soon thereafter. I kid, but ya never know...

Let's see what that first trailer looks like, which should be soon.

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20 Comments

  • yusef | June 19, 2012 10:36 AMReply

    More like transgender interracial relationships. WTH.

  • yusef | June 19, 2012 10:36 AMReply

    More like transgender interracial relationships. WTH.

  • misha | June 18, 2012 11:45 PMReply

    "Some people felt that the book cheapened black women and interracial relationships, but others felt that a lot of black women fit the profile and should therefore not complain about the stereotypes in the book." >>>Lawd. Only a simpleton would support such elementary logic. Anyhow, this sounds/looks like nothing short of a trainweck.

  • CareyCarey | June 18, 2012 7:59 PMReply

    I AM ALL IN, but something is rotten in the old hen house. I mean, if we can get excited about Idris Elba circling around the block for the jack-in-the-box role in the 'Intouchables' remake, then why can't we give this sista some love? Heck, Martin Lawrence's "Sheneneh" and Jamie Fox's "Wanda" got much love, so what's wrong with the dutch actress Imanuelle Grives getting a HOOT-HOOT and a wolf call? Seriously y'all, loud mouth Tasha Smith (for better or worse), Medea, "Scandalous" Kerry and Zoe "kiss on Tom, Dick and every white guy in the world" get all kinds of love for their interracial escapades, so what's wrong with watching the look-a-like Sherri Shepherd? I'd love to see her diamond incrusted gold tooth smile as she bounces the little Jewish boy off her voluptuous beasties and her rotund mounds of chocolate bliss. Satire or spoof, I don't care, I cry for T&A -- on the big black backass side.

  • Le Dirty Sizzla | June 18, 2012 6:00 PMReply

    Damn. My head exploded midway through.

  • Erik | June 18, 2012 5:05 PMReply

    Here is a review of the book by Sibo (the other blogger of Afroeurope) http://afroeurope.blogspot.nl/2011/09/on-alleen-maar-nette-mensen-from-robert.html

    I've heard the film will not be as explicit as the book, but seeing the picture I am not so sure.

    I am not going to watch the film, but perhaps I will protest at the premiere. :)

  • hollandia | June 18, 2012 4:47 PMReply

    I'm born in the Netherlands. The Netherlands had colonies in the Caribbean and where the first in South Africa, apartheid is a Dutch word and where the first one who brought slaves to the US. There are living today more than 500.000 blacks in the Netherlands, but they don’t own sh&%@ T, only hair salons and a few bars and you have one professional black clothes designer. And If they own something it's looks poor and not professional, not my cousins and another salon they are the only modern and professional one, so sad.
    They do not even have space to throw a proper party or give a reading.
    But if you go out in Rotterdam on Saturday for example, the big clubs are for 60 to 90% Black.
    Black people have chill in the dirty Chinese takeaway restaurant or outside in the rain Friday and Saturday eve, although you have in the same street, beautiful trendy cafes, and lounge bars and restaurants (white owners).
    The other two large minority groups, the Turks and Moroccans, have whole shopping streets and are even ministers. While they were not a colony, the norms and values ,the language, the culture they didn’t know when they came to the Netherlands, all the things slaves and workers of the colony have needed to know. No they were trading partners for 400 years. And now that a black person gets a leading role is a stereotype, oow hell no I recommend this movie. I think she is the biggest disgrace for the Creole Surinamese population, no for all brown people over the world.
    In my family you have doctors, lawyers, sociologists, contractors, social workers, budget operators, chemists, a notary, teachers and many more hard working people but even they don’t own a thing, maximum a house and a car.

  • Erik | June 19, 2012 3:27 AM

    Hollandia, I am also born in the Netherlands, in Amsterdam to be exact. And I am black "Creole". It appears you don't know anything about the black community. Your view of the black Surinamese community is clearly limited to the few dance parties you have attended and to the few hair salons where you have bought your "Brazilian extensions", or a wig perhaps.

    You are perhaps right about the Turks and Moroccans, but don’t forget that Turkey is a global regional power, with a population of 80 million people. And I haven’t even included the millions that live outside Turkey. The same goes for Morocco. The Dutch black community (or brown as you call it) is like a small island community.

    So before you start calling your community in The Netherlands dumb *ss, first take a good look in the mirror.

  • ms.jjstone | June 18, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    Say what?

  • Jai | June 18, 2012 3:05 PMReply

    Sounds like foolishness at its best!

  • troy | June 18, 2012 1:02 PMReply

    On the movie Roadtrip the skinny jew ends up with the plus size model who looks like a lighter skin version of Ms. Grives. So would that make this a spinoff.

  • Akimbo | June 18, 2012 3:26 PM

    I don't remember her being a super stereotype...just super large. She wasn't Lafawnda from Napoleon Dynamite, that's for sure.

  • Smart-Mouthed Winston | June 18, 2012 1:12 PM

    No. That would make this a rip-off.

  • Laura | June 18, 2012 12:49 PMReply

    Oh, there will be an American remake.

  • Cherish | June 19, 2012 12:13 AM

    @Miles, if that movie was made in the same vein as M. BUTTERFLY, the 1993 film starring Jeremy Irons, then it could be a very powerful and interesting social commentary. Then again, I don't know if we could handle it.

  • WOW | June 18, 2012 9:12 PM

    WOW Miles, do tell? For you, or from whose perspective would a remake with Eddie Murphy or Martin Lawrence in a fat suit, be truely sad? Are you implying that you're jumping for joy over this production, but Eddie in a dress would leave YOU wanting? Please explain your sadness. Were you being facetious or do you find comedy deplorable?

  • Miles Ellison | June 18, 2012 8:45 PM

    There will be an American remake. Except the woman will be played by Eddie Murphy or Martin Lawrence in a fat suit and a dress, it will make tons of money, and that will be truly sad.

  • Akimbo | June 18, 2012 3:25 PM

    Judging from the overall reaction to Bringing Down the House, I'm thinking not.

  • Nicole | June 18, 2012 1:17 PM

    Agreed Laura. It's only a matter of time.

  • troy | June 18, 2012 12:35 PMReply

    Generalizations might be a problem but even if a lot of black women didnt fit the steatopygia form(many of my girlfriends have) doesnt mean that isnt what a lot of guys are interested in. I know I am. I think that is more natural than wanting to be with someone well off that can provide for you.

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