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Controversial Dutch Novel About Jewish Man In Search Of "Real Negro Women" Getting Film Treatment

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 2, 2011 at 2:45AM

The book, titled Alleen Maar Nette Mensen (or Only Decent People) doesn't appear to have been translated to English yet, as I couldn't find an English-language version of it. But if anyone does, feel free to let the rest of us know.
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The book, titled Alleen Maar Nette Mensen (or Only Decent People) doesn't appear to have been translated to English yet, as I couldn't find an English-language version of it. But if anyone does, feel free to let the rest of us know.

Not that I'm particularly interested in reading it, given the controversy it's stirred up in The Netherlands since its release - the debut novel for Dutch author Robert Vuijsje. But I'd like to see the carnage for myself; sounds like one of those things you need to see to actually believe... and even then may still not believe it.

And now it's being made into a film scheduled to be released in The Netherlands next spring, 2012.

Our friends at the Afro-Europe blog have the rest of the story...

The feature film “Alleen maar nette Mensen” (“Only decent people”), based on the Dutch controversial novel of Robert Vuijsje, will be in cinema in March 2012. The book sparked a lot of controversy in The Netherlands and was called racist. The film and the book is about a middle class Jewish man, who is searching for an intelligent voluptuous real “negro” woman. The story is about 21-year-old David Samuels who is Jewish, but has the appearance of an Arabic looking Moroccan. He is a typical rich kid who was educated at the Barleaus Gymnasium, an elite grammar school in Amsterdam. His mother is a lawyer and his father is a well known television presenter. He has a girlfriend named Naomi and they both live in the posh district Amsterdam South, where 'only decent people' live. The word 'decent people', which is also the title of the novel, refers to people who are not 'allochtonen' and especially not Moroccans. ‘Allochtonen’ is the Dutch word for non-western foreigners. But, as IDTV wrote in the synopsis, "David discovers he has a craving for black beauties with huge boobs and bum from the suburbs. He dumps his girlfriend and sets out on a quest for his dream, drops out of college and woman. An apolitical and irreligious film about the clash between social and cultural classes, based on the novel by Robert Vuijsje."

The book is said to have been heavily criticized and debated within the Black community in The Netherlands.

As the Afro-Europe blog notes:


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.

Wow... So... I really want to know more about this for obvious reasons! 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.

But feel free to head over to the Afro-Europe blog to get the full story and watch the video (if you speak Dutch).

As already noted, the film adaptation is going into production shortly, with a 2012 release planned. It's already been cast, with Imanuelle Grives (Dutch, of Surinamese descent) playing the lead black female character. I assume she fits the profile...? That's her above, along with the actor who'll be playing the Jewish dude. His name is Geza Weisz.

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

Anyway, if any of our readers in Europe have read the novel, go ahead and enlighten the rest of us.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm..., WTF?, Book To Film


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