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Nynke 2001

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Snow.
Why is snow the first thing that comes to mind?
My home town.
The Vicarage.
Snow.
Desire.
But also pain.
How do l start?
Where to begin?
Spring 1885.
That's when it began. There l'll start
I'm on my way to Groningen. I was asked to the Springball...
...By my old neigbourhood friend from Nes.
I was 25 and still available.
I was restless, impatient. Excited.
I wanted a man, but not just any man.
I wanted more.
I had my dreams.
A letter every other month. - Ten years? Are you in love?
I'm not. - Is he?
Then what did you write about?
Not about love? - No actually.
More about everyday things. Writing in itself is beautiful.
And ofcourse between the lines....
You'ld fantasize a lot.
Are you still reading french novels? - Not for a long time.
Ever since i've read Madame Bovary by Flaubert i've been cured.
Did you read that? - It was in my fathers bookcase.
And all the time l thought you we're withering away over there at the Waddenzee.
Is this we're you're going to meet him?
When was the last time you saw him? - Six years ago.
Will you still recognize him? - I hope so.
Is that him?
Goodafternoon ladies.
Hello, Sjoukje. - Hello, Durk.
Clara van Loon. - Durk Hartmans, it's a pleasure.
So you two were in a cradle together?
On the farm? Or the vicarage, Sjoukje?
On the farm..
Sjoukje? - Yes, in a cradle.
Oh, how delightful.
I think...
This shouldn't be, Sjoukje.
Howcome?
How can you let this boy...
Heavens!. Now you don't have anyone for tomorrownight.
What did you do?
Sjoukje, there's a visitor for you.
I'm sorry to intrude like this. Pieter Jelles Troelstra is my name.
Clara van Loon's brother told me...
Let me get right to the point.
I have the honour to invite you to the springball of the Vindicat studentfraternity.
My lady was inhibited. And l was told you we're suddenly available also.
This is Blom. Race: Mutt, But loyal and a full of character.
You are Pieter Jelles, the Frisian poet? - Indeed, miss.
You know my verses?
Do you still remember that silent field where the flowers grew wildly
where the Lark sings in the morning and the little fish frolics.
Did you hear that, Blom? We we're quoted to.
- This ball is sometimes sarcasticly referred to as...
a 'market of marriage' for the upper class.
- Those are lies ofcourse. Lies made up by jalous lowerclass folk.
Aren't you going a bit fast with this?
- I'm truly sorry for the ladies but l have to admit that...
...I have already been sold at the beginning of the 'market'
I wish you all a good time...
...and especially, some successful 'transactions'.
I thank you.
He may be a brillian student... - But?
In Dokkum in boarding school l allready wrote short stories and poems.
The Administrator said l had talent. They're just experiments.
I'd like to read them. What are they about?
About love, l presume?
About what then? - About nature.
How can it be that a beautiful, special woman like yourself...
...has never had a person to love.
I've waited. - Waited?
For you.
You've waited for me?
And for this kiss.
It was today? You haven't misunderstood?
You're so excited.
We understood eachother perfectly.
get a hold of yourself. You only met him today.
And it doesn't surprise me that he's late.
He has a reputation. He drinks and is a ladiesman.
People are talking.. - They say he's also politically...
They say, they say?
I don't give a damn what they say.
You don't know him. You've never said a word to him.
How dare you...
I'm sorry i'm late. - I knew you would come.
Wonderflower
I walk around in a dream completely off this world
a wonderflower drugged me with wonderfully sweet scents
now l sing an whistle in the sun and laugh with no hold.
oh extatic son of the heart
you sweet, young beloved
For you.
We dine outside the city.
I had found him. And he found me.
He was the best, the only one.
Pieter Jelles Troelstra fullfilled my dream of love and friendship.
We belonged together. We we're always with eachother.
I went everywhere he went.
That didn't change when l became a mother.
We treated eachother as equals..
An old lady ran to the potato-field as hard as she could.
Manus, Jansje, come quick. There's a Stork on the roof, with a little child.
And there is no-one to open the door.
It'll drop the baby.
It happened to Siemen once. The child now has a bump.
Hunchback. I like 'hunchback' better than 'bump'.
As you wish. It's your story.
And? Do you like it?
Fine. I can't say otherwise.
I wrote something else to introduce you.
Readers have often asked me...
...to do some childrens' stories for 'For Hűs en Hiem'.
Luckily the editorial office has been joined by a young mother.
A gifted woman who has translated fairytales...
...and knows how to captivate children.
Her stories and fairytales will apear in our magazine.
She will write under the name: Nynke fan Hichtum.
Sincerely, Pieter Jelles.
Nynke fan Hichtum. How did you come up with that?
Our maid, Nynke, was a great storyteller.
It's a kind of tribute.
Well, welcome to the office. - Yeah, yeah, we shall see.
Don't be too happy, Japik.
Japik doesn't like having a women in the office.
There's more he doesn't like.
I allready have the urge to write again. Wonderful.
Maybe we could publish my stories later.
We will do much more together.
I love you.
I feel like swimming. Shall we?
Swim?Yes, allright.
Nude?
I hope we weren't...
...weren't too uncautious. - No, why?
together in the waters, dying
submerging in love
We we're happy. For years.
Intensely happy.
I had everything i'd hoped for, everything i'd dreamed of.
And it could have stayed like that.
It could have stayed the same.
He fights with his father more often.
He's a hothead like him. - About what?
About social questions. Socialism and such.
Yes, yes. Socialism.
But how is his practice? - It's doing allright.
They called him 'the red lawyer'.
Yes, l read that.
Are you worried?
What was his name?
You allready knew them all when you we're a little girl.
You don't hear this one too often. The Dunlin.
The calidris alpina. - Very impressive.
If only you knew how much l miss this.
These walks with you. - So do l.
So do l, sweety.
I thought Piet also loves being outdoors, in nature?
He sure does. He loves that a lot.
But taking walks with him through nature is completely different.
I'm pregnant again. - Really?
Congratulations.
How does Piet feel? - I haven't told him yet.
Aren't you happy? - Yes, but it's so soon.
For a mother it's... - I'm more than a mother, father.
You taught me yourself:
A woman must always want more than...
So then why are you upset? - I don't know.
And there, in front of the mirror, She noticed for the first time.
She was an adult. Completely matured.
Her eyes full of tears the girl let herself slide of the chair...
...and creeped to the windowsil.
She looked out over the road and thougth of her own dear father.
Who {y:i}did{y} always want to take walks with her.
And then she pondered the wondrous curves.
I wonder what's inside, she thought.
They can't just be empty?
Very good, Sjoukje. Your work keeps getting better. I think...
Is this suitable for children? - Why not?
Because of the curves and such.
Should l make it clearer? - Please don't.
You can take this to the mister.
People, listen up.
Hiltsje, stay here.
Instead of the coverstory we'll print this poem.
a new age
there's a cry in the nations
a cry for freedom, knowledge, light
a word blows along the beaches saying what is in peoples harts
a sun is shining over a thousand buds
wich we're inhibited to bloom in the darkness
and clammy birds are called to spread their wings
a forceful wind is blowing over a trembling earth
that wich stood upright for years and years
now falls to the ground in pieces
I saw it. He was taken in by socialism.
But that everything would change so dramatically, was something l didn't see coming.
Pieter Jelles was rebelling.
And l followed him.
yours is the future you shall break the chains
that poverty has given you
the tide of justice cannot be turned. it must flow freely over the earth
your slogan 'no slaves and no masters'
are the lyrics to your song of triumph
And it was {y:i}this{y} poem wich l shouldn't have printed.
many people cancelled their subscriptions after that.
Unfortunately also Japik de Jong, the editor, left us.
He wrote that l had become a rebel instead of a poet
That's just the way it is. Because someone who has been touched by the suffering of millions...
...has to leave the selfishness behind him...
...for a world in wich it is not 'everyone for himself' ...
...but 'one for all'. That is the world of Socialism.
Don't let it take you off track..
They're only here to see if order is being kept.
Gentelmen, make yourselves comfortable.
You could learn a lot from our definition of 'order'.
Comrades, That so many of you have come...
...is proof that the battle has begun
I was impressed by him.
I did not know him like this.
But l believed in him. In us.
In us.
But many people turned away from him.
No longer one of us, they said.
A friend of the common worker, a traitor to his own.
He let it slide like water from a duck
Wasn't that the lawyer? Mr. Bonnema?
He sure did his best not to greet us.
Mr. Eelke Gerbrand Bonnema doesn't need to greet me.
But his father...
...deputy-mayor and manager of an insurance company...
...was more difficult for him.
I hope we can eat normally. I didn't do it all for nothing.
You're right. It looks delicious.
How is your father? Doesn't he miss you? - I believe so, but...
A lawyer who defends thieves and rebels for free...
...is not someone i'd call independent.
It was about very poor people that we're evicted out of their homes.
Because they stole from him?. - That remains to be seen.
Maybe some other time?
A lawyer is not solely a right of the rich.
You'll lose paying customers.
And another thing: Half the time you're on my payroll.
So you'll have to obey the rules of this house.
I don't want my business being ridiculed because of your actions.
I'm not your servant. - What did you say?
Father, father. - Get up.
Get out. - Oh, stop it.
I won't let a boy tell me what to do.
Please stop it.
You should be ashamed of yourselves. You look like kids.
Then that's the way we'll do it, Hoekstra.
Thank you, if l had the money... - I know.
I will see you in court. Hiltsje, please show him out.
Goodbye, Hoekstra.
Ofcourse l stood by him. By his high ideals.
But where was l in his vision of a better future, a new age?
How long will you be away? - Only for a few days.
I'll sleep at Stienstra in Workum.
I wanted to come. - Do you mean that?
In those full venues? In your condition?
I don't look very attractive anymore. - What?
I'm afraid. - Of what?
Of what's to come. Everything happened so fast.
I don't write anymore and we're never together either...
I still have to get used to it.
I understand. It's new to me too.
We will both have to adjust to the new situation.
Hello, mother
Mother.
If only you knew how many clothes l have mended an patched.
My mother can make a wedding gown out of a robe.
How is your mother? - She went back to work immediately.
She's never tired? How does she do that? Hom many are there now in your family?
Ten Children. - Ten? How does she do it?
I ask myself the same thing sometimes.
But l never heard her complain even once. No matter how tough things are.
She's a real miracle.
Made from the dress l brought for her.
She made it into a baby...
Won't l emberass her?
She's not easily emberassed.
I made a vest for her. I allmost never wore it myself.
Can l give it to her? - She will appreciate it very much.
You'ld better warn her first.
Please sit down.
Jouke, get some turf from the attic. - There isn't any.
Oh my. - Hello, misses Feenstra.
I'm just dropping in. - Allready up, l see.
Misses is visiting. You can sit in the good chair.
Mother, there is a carriage...
Take off your clogs boy. Just look at the mud. Get out.
What do l see? Another child coming? What a joy, isn't it?
So you've come to see the youngest?
Yes, my dear.
You'll get to drink soon.
You'll get some soon.
Here, do you want to hold him?
I saw it. Saw her.
There was only one thing to do: Don't nag, don't complain.
Do what l have to do as a mother and a writer.
The little sweetheart.
It was very quiet in the normally crowded room.
The cat was purring, the geraniums on the windowsil.
And old Saapke, was atking a nap by the table.
Goddamn him, how dare he? A letter from my father:
'...calling my commissars leeches...
...and simultaneously wanting to get paid for it, just goes too far.
I sincerely regret that you'r social-democratic delusions...
...and the way you act, wich controls your whole persona...
...is destroying your happiness and of your wife and children.
If your ideas should ever become a reality...
...our whole society, wich includes the working class, shall be ruined.'
How dare he, goddammit. - Don't swear.
Do you know what that means? Being Fired! Poverty!
Poverty was not so bad.
If there is no more perspective, when the worms get into the wood...
...only then everything is lost.
Keep the faith, l said to myself. Keep going.
We will get through this.
It's like she doesn't want the baby.
MissesTroelstra, what do you want.
Will you do it yourself, or shall l deliver it?
I've been busy for four hours. If nothing is happening, l will leave.
If you leave now, l will see you in court!
Then l know a great Lawyer. - Gratis l bet.
Then let's deliver it.
If she makes it, you can thank God on your knees.
She won't survive another baby.
No more children, Troelstra.
Get me some clean water.
It took months to recuperate.
Soon Pieter Jelles was gone again for weeks.
For his beloved socialism.
And l? Was l still his beloved?
I was a mother. That was all.
And then Hiltsje left me also. My pillar of hope. She married.
Do you want me to ha a look? - Does he have a job?
Where will you live? - With his parents.
He's a postman.
I have something for you.
I will miss you.
I have just arrived.
I'll stay at my sister, because of the royal visit.
I wanted to experience that.
So these are your children?
Dieuwke and Jelle. You've noticed, l know everything.
I only have one, a one year old girl. A beautiful child.
We live in Groningen now, at the Heresingel.
Jan became a professor last year.
We're doing allright.
We se a lot of people from our college days. Wonderful.
Stay here. Not so close to the water.
There were ducks.
Are you here alone with the children?
Is the servant ill? - She has to give birth.
I'm worried about you.
That's unneccesary. Why?
I heard a lot of stuff.
About Pieter Jelles and his socialism.
I'm so sorry for you.
I'm sorry but l have to go. Have a good time, Clara.
Goodbye. Dieuwke, let's go.
If there's anything l can do for you...
..String him up, string him up! Troelstra and his wife...
Dieuwke, go upstairs.
Stay here.
Stay here.
Did you have a good trip? - Are you still awake?
It was undoable. A lot of ditches and water.
We got stuck at Wirdum.
Something happened here.
What did you say? - Sleep.
We've got a new maid, Antje. - Tell me in the morning.
I'm so tired, l can't go on.
You won't even look at me.
You don't see me anymore.
Nothing seemed interesting anymore.
I left the kids to the maid.
I was sinking into the water.
I slipped under the ice.
Everything was freezing cold.
I was cold.
I felt nothing.
Miss, what are you doing? - My little boy has cold hands.
Let go, miss, let go.
Thank you for coming so quickly.
The doctor looked up Wibaut's adress and sent a telegram.
I was waking all night with the misses.
What did the doctor say? - What did you say?
What did the doctor say? - He said he never saw anything like this before.
And it's awful for the children too.
Father, dear father. What is wrong with me?
You need to rest. Everything will be fine then.
Unfortunately l have to leave allready.
It's beautiful for the children, with us in Nes.
With all that snow.
Just like old times.
Nes, everything... Everyone is leaving.
Piet stays.
The carriage is here.
Hello, my dear.
I'm not going to the insane asylum? - Absolutely not.
You have to believe me.
I feel guilty towards the children.
You're not at fault. - Yes l am! That's the way l feel.
You can talk to professor Winkler about that.
Try to sleep a little. We've along way to go.
Wonderflower
I walk around in a dream completely off this world
a wonderflower drugged me with wonderfully sweet scents...
There is no way back.
What are you to do, alone?
One Moment, Sjouk.
Pieter Jelles Troelstra, poet, lawyer...
A fighter of the people. - Indeed ma'am.
And you know what? A first class fighter.
I heard your husband speak at the may 1st celebrations in Franeker.
And what a great poem.
there's a cry in the nations
a cry for freedom, knowledge, light
a word blows along the beaches saying what is in peoples harts...
ACADEMlC HOSPlTAL
Mr. Troelstra.
Professor Winkler.
Interesting to meet you.
This is your wife? -Yes.
Misses Troelstra. Welcome.
Well, will you follow me?
I didn't know what to expect.
I was in obsevation with professor Winkler for six weeks.
The best there is, they said.
Stand still.
- Seventy degrees right.
Yes. - Eighty degrees left.
- Head: brown.
- Ears. - Standing out.
- Teeth.
- Small.
I'm sorry but we need to know what's wrong.
We'll be done soon.
No, the anti-flexion of this woman is not completely normal.
There is some reflexio miteria. The Uterus, well..
- Although l know very little about this woman..
.. I do already know that we are dealing with a patient...
...who has the ambition to stand next to her husband...
...on top of the world.
A woman who wants to compete intellectually and socially...
...with a man, {y:i}will{y} suffer from disturbances in the nervous system.
The conflict between reality and illusion is a remarkable symptom.
Sensitive, gifted women want to excel.
If they do not get that opportunity they will become ill.
But, that's the tragic part, they also get sick when they DO get that opportunity.
Palland? - Can hysteria be cured, professor?
Can you remember the time, when your life turned around?
It seemed as if... As if everything came at once.
It's a shame there aren't any flowers yet.
But spring is near.
Misses Troelstra, your condion is certainly not hopeless.
Absolutely not.
But... But you have to follow your destiny.
The destiny of motherhood.
Use your gift in service of your family.
- In normal, everyday life there's the heroism of the female..
- I can tell you...
They got to me. I believed what they said.
I had to believe.
I wanted to believe. Otherwise l would never leave.
I miss them so much.
I think that is a good sign.
We're going to see the children.
What did the professor say? - He said everything will be allright.
As with us.
There's mother.
Let's start over.
After a few years we moved to Utrecht.
We both fared well. As did the children.
The party was doing well.
Every sunday the house was filled with young workers that wanted to be educated.
I was accepted my role.
I felt like l belonged again.
Was this the joy of a woman without ambitions?
The happiness of a young mother?
It gave me some rest. That it did. It gave me some rest.
You can see, comrades, who the pillar of society is.
He felt it was good for me to meet some new people.
The aristocratic CornÚlie Huygens celebrated her birthday.
A rich and sucessful novellist.
A member of the party board, just like Pieter Jelles.
- CornÚlie. - Pieter.
Good of you to come.
Did you come alone? - No
Sjoukje, how wonderful to finally meet you.
Piet told me so much about you. - He did?
He also talked about you. I will read your novels soon.
I wouldn't read them all if l were you.
But you should read her latest articles and pamflets.
Those are worth reading. Aren't they, Piet?
Is he always this honest to you too?
- CornÚlie. Johanna, excuse me.
A wait...These are Henri and Nelly van Kool, whom l mentioned.
Henri van Kool. Pieter how nice to see you again.
- How nice to finally meet you. -If it works out we'll be in parliament in 6 months.
Say have you seen Bahlman already? Yes, he's over there.
Oh.. Pardon me. - Van Wijngaarden.
- That's Bahlman, a German textile mogul who financially supports the party.
He's divorced but is somewhat charmed by CornÚlie.
But it seems that she doesn't like a steady commitment.
May l introduce you? Mr. Bahlman?
This is my wife. - Very pleased to meet you.
How wonderful of you to support the movement.
You can thank this wonderful lady for that.
She is very enthusiastic about your husband. - Mr. Bahlmann is a flatterer.
Come Piet, l want you to meet someone.
Master Folte, the publisher of my new book.
- Mr. Folte, this is Pieter Jelles Troelstra.
Well, because of the children and other cirumstances l had to...
...ehm...writing just did not happen.
Unfortunately, l have to say. - Why don't you start again?
I'll tell you something. I want to start a library for workers children...
...and you have to help me.
And l want to publish a series about savages.
Indians, Eskimos, Hottentots, all kinds of people children don't know about.
And when people DO write about them it is all very shallow.
As if the writers didn't bother to inform themselves.
But... I don't know if i'm ...
Yes, that was a good one. - You can do better.
Stay seated.
- Where l saw with my binoculars, it was easy to do.
- With this decision made l entered... Antsje.
Antsje!
What did you say?
... carefully while he had ...
What's wrong?
I feel like swimming.
Taking a swim? Here?
I let myself go. That's not done.
Do you think i'm abnormal?
Abnormal? - Because l want this.
Why must 'this' play such a big part?
For how lang have we been together?
In a good marriage it's quite normal for husband and wife...
...after spending many years together...
...to draw happiness from the love for their children, work and ideals.
And we are ready for such a normal situation?
Wouldn't that be best for us?
- I think we, as the leaders of the SDAP, should take a stand.
No. The misconception is that the problem of degeneration is put upon women.
Why won't men take their responsibilities?
Always on the high road, the Lady.
- And what's wrong with physical pleasure?
If you want everything to go in a natural way...
... then sexual selfcontrol is the most natural way.
-You should talk, Henri!
Different. Different subject.
Ofcourse, there are women present, aren't there Piet?
Wonderful Sjoukje, thank you.
- How are your savages doing, can you get anything done here?
Well yes. It's all about selfcontrol.
Did you read anything yet, Piet? Ehm.. Pieces of it.
And? - Not bad.
Is that a Frisian compliment?
Does she ever see Bahlmann? - Bahlman?
Too often. - Too often?
Is her opinion.
Doesn't she want a man in her life? - That's what people say.
You adore her.
I admire her, there's a difference.
Give me my pencils. - I don't have them.
Give them back.
How can l prepare myself with all this noise?
Wil you please keep them quiet for once. - They're children.
Is my suitcase packed? The train leaves in an hour.
Where is father going? - To Friesland.
To grandfather Leeuwarden or grandfather Nes? - Neither of them.
Will he be gone for a long time? - Six weeks or so.
Is that a long time? - Do you think it's along time?
Mother? - I do not know.
It's not nice to say but l don't really mind him being gone for a while.
The children miss him but l...
Not for a while, because only now l can go back to writing...
... and you know what l discovered?
That l forget all my surroundings when l write.
I do feel a bit guilty about that when... - Guilty?
The only ones that should feel guilt are the gentlemen.
By that l mean our husbands.
They bigmouth over everything but they still do what they want.
What's wrong?
Henri has a mistress.
Don't you ever worry?
As a student , Piet was already known... - Nelly, what are you talking about?
Oh.. I'm sorry.
I'm sorrry, l shouldn't have said that. It's just my own obsession.
Well, you hear about this a lot in the movement.
There's also of stories of Wibout and women... - I ..
... I find it difficult to discuss this.
I could think lots of things about him. But l think he's loyal to me.
He's got his principals, not only political ones. I think.
I'm of the Utrechtse Courant, Mrs. Troelstra. Congratulations. - Thank you.
Can l ask you something about... - It's also my birthday.
Oh, well, congratulations to you too.
What do you think of your husbands indictment. - Indictment? Indictment.
I had to admit that l had missed him.
That l longed for him.
And l was proud that he was elected into parliament.
Mr. Troelstra, there's an indictment against you for insulting....
... an officer of the court. - Not now.
Do you have something to say?
What's that? - For Dieuwke, it's her birthday.
It is? Both?? - The other one is for Jelle.
I brought something for you.
And for you. - What is in it?
You'll see.
I'm glad you're back. - So am l.
In Haarlem we got a new and much nicer house.
The only threat was the indictment.
Pieter Jelles could be sent to the jailhouse.
- And? The sentence has been confirmed.
1 month in jail. A politically motivated sentence.
When? Where? This summer, here in Haarlem.
Don't you have to send CornÚlie a telegram? No, No. I'll see her tomorrow.
This is my niece. Sjoukje. Just like your wife.
We look back with grattitude to the time when you were in Utrecht.
Where Mrs. Troelstra, just like today, welcomed us with open arms.
Again. I thank you.
Oh, and ofcourse... Goodluck these coming months.
Men...
I don't feel like speeching today but l do want to thank you for...
... that you came all the way from Utrecht...
... to join me on the last day before my incarceration.
These must be posted tomorrow.
What's wrong? - I bought something for you.
What's that?
Come on and show me..
Now that you're facing a lonely month, l thought...
Dr. Rutgers sent me this. it prevents women from becoming pregnant.
A preservative. A rubber thing. You will not have to be afraid again...
The latest from France Very soft, with velvet.
Did you order this at dr. Rutgers in Heerenveen?
I got the adress from CornÚlie.
Did you talk to CornÚlie about us?
No, just in general.
This is the last thing l...
I can't do this. You're mistaken.
After all these years there's not as much lust left.
You're lying. I see how you look at other women.
Why would you have to live as a widower? I'm healthy, Pieter Jelles.
The way we treat eachother...
We are so alone.
Our pasts are bothering us. - What do you mean: past?
Past? You are always talking about the future to the workers..
Have faith in the future. With me it's only about the past.
Why don't you just say that you've had enough of me.
Or do you have a mistress, just like Van Kol?
And all those reformists that have written off their wives.
You don't think l care about those.. You are hyste...
Just do your best at school. Don't be ashamed of me.
I'm no crook. - An innocent crook.
When others say bad things, just say they don't understand anything.
And be good to your mother. And be a good boy.
Goodbye father.
And now, off to school.
I'll be off too.
Are all my books in here?
Yes, do you want me to escort you?
No, i'd rather go alone. - Really?
Goodluck to you. - Goodluck.
I'm sorry, about last night.
So am l.
Come on, off to bed.
Come on, let's go.
Allready? - Yes, move it.
Dieuwke, don't let me repeat myself.
Come with me.
Ouch, Let me go! - Come on. Off to bed.
I was cold again.
I was frightened.
I had to resist. No nagging, no complaining.
Do what l did best: writing.
For him and for myself.
'tsien fan Martens Afke' became 'Afke's tiental'.
The story of the good mother.
The little doll.
It was very quiet in the usually so crowded room.
Cat was purring between the geraniums on the windowsil.
And old Saapke, the baker, was almost napping on the table.
There was a little, complaining voice coming from the corner of the room.
Immediately there was a... Goodnight mom, she said...
... after wich Wiepkje dissappeared to her bed.
With the little girls, in the attic where she usually slept ...
... when she camer over, it was much too cold now.
On top of that the roof was broken, something the landlord still hadn't repaired.
That is why eleven of them slept in one crowded chamber.
Where the painted trousers and drying socks...
I was up all night... - Washing up?
...was up. To mend all that was still not patched.
She looked at Afke in admiration.
'You're such a good housewife, even with your frail body'.
'l have rarely seen that. But now you have to try and sleep a little too.'
'Then you won't be so tired when the children return from school.'
She closed the curtains and opened the bedroom doors just a little.
So? What did you think about it?
I thought Afke was a good mother. - Do you think so?
How about you, Jelle?
What did you draw?
Father in prison.
How nice.
Is that father?
You'll have to attach it up there. Up there.
The children decorated your chair.
There he is.
Go and sit down.
Welcome home. They did a nice job, didn't they?
Do you like it father? - You should smell this.
I'm going inside. The light and colours hurt my eyes.
Aren't you happy being home again?
Ofcourse, my son.
Everything allright?
Just go outside.
Did you know?
That CornÚlie was married.
To Bahlmann. - When? Where?
Secretely, in a small village in Germany.
How is it possible? That she has been taken in by that man.
Unbelievable.
Maybe she always wanted it. - What?
Happiness in love.
She wasn't unhappy as a bachelor.
And those illustrations are so nice.
Everybody who read it was so surprised.
Yes, thank you.
And it is extremely well written.
But more importantly: it's warm and loving.
A wonderful book.
It's just like you knew those people.
CornÚlie wrote wonderful novels about socialism, the female struggle...
But they're all set in the upper classes. What you wrote...
... is a monument to the wife of a farmer. For this mother: Afke.
The writing also helped me get through those times.
That's a plus then. I'm sure that Wolters will publish it.
That's a big publisher.
That's my train. What does Piet think about it?
He doesn't know yet. - That's very good.
The bigger his surprise when it's published.
After all it's your contribution to the struglle.
I don't know if my book is such a large contribution.
How are you? You and Hendrik.
Love conquers all.
Is that really true? - Yes.
But if love should lose, l will take action.
These are the illustrations for the book about Afke.
This is Saapke. - And that's the little baby.
This is Hiltsje, our maid in the olden days.
You don't remember. You we're too young.
What a small room, with all those children.
What's wrong mother?
CornÚlie was found in the river.
Drowned. How was that possible?
She committed suicide.
But how? She wasn't even married for six weeks.
That bastard.
That deceiver.
CornÚlie. My friend.
I did not understand.
How could such a strong independent woman commit suicide?
Why?
And then there was the grief of Pieter Jelles.
He did not want to discuss it.
Not with me.
I thought l told you to be quiet?
Silence, l said. Mama needs to sleep. Don't make a sound.
Stop that immediately.
Jelle, come over here. - You're frightening him to death.
What are you doing here? You should be in bed. Get out.
I spoke with the doctor.
It cannot go on like this any longer.
You're not fine, and neither am l.
He's afraid that we'll drive eachother crazy .
And that you might ...
Might what?
He said he was afraid you wouldn't get over it...
...if things return to the way they were before, in Leeuwarden.
What does the doctor recommend?
He recommends, to give us some peace...
...to remove the children from our house.
Not for long. It's best for everyone.
Best for everyone? Did he say that?
Then where should they go?
Does he know that too? Mr. Know-it-all.
'l have a friend'...
'They call him a handsome boy, he has a round head, red cheeks'...
... 'a pair of lively eyes. But, he's a monster'.
'His limbs look like they will want to burst out of his suit'.
Now now, that description doesn't fit Oliver Twist?
We'll continue next time. Just keep seated.
We have something to tell you.
And the school is nearby.
Dieuwkes school, the school for girls, is pretty far away.
They are the newest and and best schools in europe
You will have a good time there. They are less strict than here.
You won't have to sit with your arms crossed.
And you'll have less calculus.
I don't speak German. - You'll learn quickly.
Schnell, ruft der Lehrer, an die Arbeit.
Bravo, ein dicker Zehn.
And when we return, you'll be better.
Hold up. I have something for you.
Didn't l read you stories about mother Afke from Friesland?
I made a bok of those stories.
It has just been published.
I want you to have the first copy.
I wrote something for you on the first page.
You have to board now.
Go quickly.
You allways amaze me. - That's a good thing.
Have a safe trip.
I'll write every day.
In this book full of motherly love l expressed my love for you...
...for you, my twosome.
May it's warmth flow into you...
...when you read these pages in that foreign country.
Your loyal mother. - Thank you mother.
Any letters from the children? - No still none.
Then they are probably enjoying themselves.
The president of the CH is complimenting you on 'Afke'...
...and, don't be startled, so is the leader of the liberal party.
Did they read it to eachother? - Their wives to their children.
Now you know who it reaches.
It tells you something about the quality of the book, but also about its flaws.
I hadn't heard you about that yet. - The class struggle.
There is nothing about resistance or rebelling in the book.
A letter from my father.
That is probably why the liberals like the book.
It is about poverty, but it is still romantic.
As l've said before: l don't write movement books.
It seems to mean a lot...
...when the life of poor farmers is described in a book.
It's what touches the reader.
I get more letters from workers than you ever did.
Don't be so condescending, i've had enough of that.
I'm sorry.
And what idiot said we had to send the children away?
I miss the children too, dammit.
Just what we need.
Hey, Troelstra, back in the fatherland?
- Nynke fan Hichtum.
The little doll.
It was very quiet in the usually so crowded room.
Cat was purring between the geraniums on the windowsil.
And old Saapke, the baker, was almost napping on the table.
There was a little, complaining voice coming from the corner of the room.
Immediately a skinny hand appeared through the closed curtains.
The door was open.
'Saapke, the little boy is awake'. 'Let me see'.
Saapke rose, and walked up to the corner where he heard the little voice.
She knows the whole chapter. - What a good job you did.
What's your name? - Baukje.
Just like Afke's daughters.
Pieter Jelles and Nynke fan Hichtum:
Two birds with one stone. How is that possible?
I'm out of breath.
I can't set one foot before the other.
It stops.
Keep down, for gods sake.
As restless as ever.
As long as he doesn't say no.
To what? - He wants Pieter to take over.
at Neerlandia?
You've been dumb. The poverty you've gotten yourself into.
That wasn't necessary...
I ddin't come here to hear you go on about... - Enough.
I appreciate you beeing loyal to your wife and children...
...in troubled times.
I think so too.
I respect you still being here, after what happened back then.
it wasn't easy for Piet either when the professor said...
...that the histeria was incurable.
Incureable?
Who said...
How do you know that? - Isn't that what Piet said?
What do you think? - I'm not returning to Leeuwarden.
As a socialist you cannot become a manager of a capitalist company.
It can be done in a social way. - If you mean...
I'll only do it if the headoffices wil be in Den Haag.
Sjoukje, sit down.
Your poverty will be over soon.
I'm glad that we are in agreement.
People are stubborn and are always too late in realising what they should've done.
Ow well. So you write these nice little childrens' stories.
Incurable histeria.
You survived that insane peron for a long time. - An insane person?
Who said you we're insane? - Dr. Winkler, didn't he?
Whatever gave you that idea? - Why didn't you say so?
He never said you we're insane...
.. and the histeria... - I was holding you down.
I should've stayed with the kids, with my father.
When he said it was incurable, l was afraid and couldn't tell you.
And you would probably have recovered from it. - You should have told me.
i'll have a look at that house in Scheveningen after the meeting.
It lies between the dunes. With trees and a large garden.
I will not move house again. I've had my fill of moving.
It's pointless. With or without the children.
Why so glum? We have no more financial worries.
I have to go.
There's a doctor in Den Haag, doctor Anna Fischer.
She has a healthspa for women in Dresden. I want to go to her.
A psychiatrist? - A womens' doctor.
Not one of those withdoctors, using mineral water and twigs?
If you think it is of use to you...
I'll see you tonight.
Doctor Fischer had modern ideas.
I trusted her.
Women should listen to their heart she said.
Sometimes we should keep some distance. Be free for a while.
Come to ourselves in a serene, healthy environment.
Exchanging experiences with people.
We will return the stronger for it. That's what l wanted.
Yes, that's what l wanted.
It sounds okay.
You should do it.
All the while when you are in Dresden, l will make certain the house is decorated.
And when you return for Christmas...
Can l sleep on it first?
I haven't even seen the house yet.
And we don't have a servant yet. - I have one allready.
What? - A maid.
She was at that picknick in the dunes.
What do you think? - Nice.
You we're here allready, Sjoukje. That name can cause some confusion.
You may also call me Aaltje, Jeltje or Marij.
Let's just call you Sjoukje.
Studyroom.
These are the stairs.
the kitchen.
What a room.
I don't want to say anithing, but l would like to start soon.
See? Problem solved.
Isn't it beautiful?
I've got a good pair of hands.
And some good referrals. Here you go.
They all write that.
Let's just try it. - Thank you Ma'am, sir.
Things will be different from now on.
I'm frightened all of a sudden. - Come on, no time for doubt.
It couldn't go on much longer.
Will you take good care of him? - Ofcourse.
When you return, all will be ready.
Write now, you hear.
So? Who's next?
You?
Yes.
I'm...
... Why l'm here ...
... Is... is a bit complicated.
I ...
at the shores of the lake
you still ponder, still ponder
the silent field
where the flowers grew wildly?
where the Lark sings in the morning
and the fish frolic in the morning.
that is where we met
that's where you chose me
I can't.
That's okay.
Frau Haistee, please.
Like those other women. To explain their problems in a few words, l can't do that.
Maybe my coming here has been a mistake and...
...and maybe l am an uncureable hysteric ... - We already discussed that.
Nowadays everything is called 'Hysteria'.
Take it from me, you're not crazy. And you're not histeric.
But l am abnormal.. - Yes, but what's crazy about that?
For years l've not been taken seriously, treated as some pityful person.
Everything happened around me and was decided without me.
I just didn't matter anymore!
I've come to hate that endless crying...
Did you ever consider to go on alone?
No, never.
That's to say...
I did once say he needed another women, But he denied that vigourously
Why do you ask?
Do you keep a diary?
No.
Well, l used to. In boarding school.
You're a writer.
Why don't you write it all up?
From the moment you met him.
It often helps. It helps to get clarity.
I don't have to read it. It's for yourself.
Maybe your mother language. - In Frisian?
How do you say that in Frisian, Muttersprache?
'Memmetaal'.
Snow.
Why is snow the first thing that comes to mind?
My home town.
The Vicarage.
Snow.
Desire.
But also pain.
How do l start?
Where to begin?
Spring 1885. Groningen.
That's when it began. There l'll start
And here's my desk. What a beautiful spot.
What a good job you did. A Christmastree.
The children will be so surprised. - Wait a second.
And now...
...the big surprise.
How beautiful. Who made that? - This little lady.
Dieuwke helped. - Can l blow out the candles?
In one go!
Jelle, what is cake in German? - Kuchen.
No,Torte. - O yes. Torte.
Is Torte as good as our cake? - Not nearly as good.
Snow. - It's snowing.
Goodbye. It was nice wasn't it.
Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You look like a student.
Thank god! I was afraid you would call me a socialist!
I Never thought we'd ever...
What a wonderful couple of days.
When is she leaving? - Later. She allready packed.
She'll be gone a week? i don't understand.
I wil have to say goodbye and thank her?
I have to explain something to you..
I had never thought this would happen to me now.
I fought against it. I didn't want it. She didn't either.
It struck us both like lightning.
I know it must be horrible for you.
Just when you are doing so well. A while ago...
...It would've been easier to understand.
This is horrible. Why now.
What must l do, Sjoukje?
I cannot even say that name without seeing her before me..
I'm acting like a schoolboy. - A student.
I never meant to hurt you. - You did that a long time ago.
By sparing my feelings and by...
But it was me also. I always followed you wherever you went.
I realised that too late.
I was hoping... Those last weeks and days...
...I was hoping so much. - I am really sorry.
I did everything that was in my power.
I wanted to keep things right. For the children also.
Goddamnit!
We have to make a decision.
Sjoukje Bokma de Boer...
...if you want me to stop, l will.
How is this possible all of a sudden?
Will she be living in this house?
With father?
What about us?
To another place.
Really. It's best for all of us.
Why?
Come.
Nynke van Hichtum lost the love of her life but won the freedom to write.
She reviewed, translated and wrote lots of childrens' stories.
'Afke's Tiental' was translated into numerous languages.
When the children we're old enough she left for Paris, alone...
... where she wrote for a weekly magazine.
It was the start of a long period of travel and moving house.
Twenty years later she would settle down in Hilversum where her son Jelle lived.
By this time she had become an authority on the writing of childrens' stories.
The many admirers and fans who would visit her lovingly called her 'Mem'.
Nynke van Hichtum died in 1939, seventy-nine years of age.
She had outlived Pieter Jelles Troelstra by ten years.
Translated by M|dWN of NUsKo0L
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