The Netherlands/Germany 2019
Opening January 30, 2020
Directed by: Mischa Kamp
Writing credits: Tamara Bos
Principal actors: Vita Heijmen, Beppie Melissen, Noortje Herlaar, Guido Pollemans
Since Romy’s parents both work they decide that after school she should go to her grandmother Stine’s hairdressing salon. Romy (Vita Heijmen), age 10, is not delighted since she has to conform to Stine’s rules, not let the cat out and generally stay out of the way. Gradually this situation changes as Stine slowly sinks into dementia. Romy realizes that her grandmother is not only forgetful; she is confused about money, working the cash register or even hair dressing in general. She sleeps until afternoon and comes to work in her nightgown. Now caregiving has reversed, and Romy is in charge of both the salon and her grandmother. Stine reminisces about her own childhood in Denmark, speaking Danish, and describing happy days at the seashore. Their motto is, “Together we will manage it.” After several unhappy events, Stine is checked into a nursing home. Romy decides to fulfil her grandmother’s greatest wish.
This story, based on the 2018 book of the same name, also by Tamara Bos, has shown at many film festivals, winning at least five awards along the way. Young actress Vita Heijme is excellent, making the film appealing, not only to 10-year-olds (and grandmothers), but to the whole family. A few scenes of Hamburg help enliven the plot. These scenes were necessary as the Filmförderung Hamburg-Schleswig-Holstein helped support the making of the film financially (which requires that a certain time must be filmed in northern Germany). (Becky T.)