Johan van der Keuken (1938-2001)
The Netherlands, 1965, black and white, 16mm, 45'
BEPPIE is a moving and disarming portrait of an Amsterdam street urchin. Van der Keuken once described her as follows: 'She was ten years old and the joy of the Achtergracht, where I was living at the time. An Amsterdam child, sweet and crooked as a corkscrew.' He films her while she skims the city with some friends and knocks at strangers' doors. Her family has nine children and is not well off. In those days, a visit to the De Miranda swimming pool cost a quarter, but only ten cents if the weather was bad. At school, Beppie gets a poor mark because she is too boisterous, but when the whole class rattles off the multiplication tables, she joins in at the top of her voice. All of TV-watching Holland was wildly enthusiastic about this portrait, with which Van der Keuken even made the front page of the national newspaper De Telegraaf.