Rotterdam Films

Rijneke & van Leeuwaarden

‘t Is Gewoon Leven

Dirk Rijneke


The theme for this film was provided by the director’s choice of characters. Then he let the film run its own course. Three ordinary young women in their early twenties were patiently followed by the director over a period of two and a half years, during which he observed them in their mutual relationships and their outlook on life in general, such as it is expressed mainly by one of the girls. The resulting film is a remarkably natural and un-inhibited portrayal of the three girls.

The central figure is a girl who is training as a nursery school teacher. She is writing an essay on a Rotterdam artist for her exam. She doesn’t see being a teacher as a job, but simply as a part of living. For the rest the things she has to say aren’t really at all out of the way. She’s for freedom for everybody, against marriage, against sexist behaviour by men in pubs. She constantly wonders what affects other people, and why they do this or that. The film shows how these three women comprehend in their discussion the ways and objects of their training, the latent racism towards the Surinamese, but particularly the social situation of a woman. It is amazing how this documentary conveys the vital consciousness of a generation; and the three women remain themselves even in front of camera and microphone.

The film became third in the poll among critics and public at the International Film Festival Rotterdam


Script, camera, editing and direction: Dirk Rijneke

Producer: Rolf Orthel for C.R.M.

Production: Rijneke & Spierenburg film Rotterdam

Sound: Fred Spierenburg, Dirk Rijneke

Editing: Fred Spierenburg, Dirk Rijneke

Mixing: Jan van Sandwijk

Music: Scarlatti, performed by Piet Veenstra

Cast: Jacqueline Peters, Elsbeth Becking, Cecilia Treurniet.

Festivals: Rotterdam (worldpremiere), Oberhausen

Broadcasted by VPRO television