‘The first Dutch Urban Musical Feature about a drug dealer in love’
GANGSTA BLUES! is about the Surinam Spike who on a youthful age comes to the Netherlands to follow an education. He does not feel at home, living with his sick aunt and being called regularly by his mother begging him for money. He ends up in the world of blingbling, where everything is about doekoe (money) and status.
When he falls in love with the daughter of a shop holder, Rosalie, Spike thinks she only wants him if he has money. To impress her he joins Delano’s gang, where he earns some pocket money with small criminal jobs. To escape this hopeless situation he decides to work as a drugs courier to make a big deal. With this money he can start a normal existence with the love of his life Rosalie. But his trip to Suriname turns out different than planned.
GANGSTA BLUES is similar to Theo Van Gogh's Cool!But in his deliberately chosen form, it is better
Bas Blokker, March 23, 2006
Birgit Hillenius and Karin Junger are doing for Surinamese hustlers in Amsterdam's Bijlmer what Theo van Gogh wanted to do for Moroccan rascals. It both starts and ends in prison, where there is a strong dream of a real Dutch girl forever. Meanwhile, we get a romanticized picture of the street culture where boys pass unnoticed from boasting to crime. Van Gogh's Cool! was especially curious. Balls of blues is definitely better and there are several reasons for that. The most important is that Hillenius and Junger have opted for the form of a musical, which means they distance themselves from realism in advance. That already produces a nice interaction in the opening images.
The beginning, for example, in a prison in Paramaribo, is hard and convincing like a documentary, but suddenly the brown, half-naked men in the cell burst into lamentations about their fate, accompanied by the rhythmic sound of clapping, spoons or playing cards. What saves the film is the humor and especially the self-mockery that belong to Surinamese manners.
- Directed by: Karin Junger
- Written by: Karin Junger & Brigit Hillenius
- Production company: Dutch Mountain Film
- Producers: René Huybrechtse Joram Willink
- Coproducers: RVU television
- Executive producer: Manuela Hartsuyker
- Cinematography: Brigit Hillenius
- Sound: Mark Wessner
- Production design: Vincent de Pater
- Editor: Elja de Lange
- Composers: Giorgio Tuinfort, Bart van de Lisdonk, Jos Jansen, Tymen Geurts
- Sophie van Oers
- Maurits Delchot
- Mr Propz
- Buena Vista International (Netherlands) BV
Dutch Film Festival 2006, Cairo International Film Festival Egypt, Diaspora Film Festival Toronto, African Diaspora Film Festival New York, Film Festival Zlín Zlín Czech Republic, Buff Filmfestival, Malmö Sweden, ZLIN International Film Festival for Children and Youth 2007, Kolkata Film Festival India 2007
Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Music, Best Production Design
Golden Calf Best Music