For a Lost Soldier

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For a Lost Soldier
Voor een Verloren Soldaat
For-a-lost-soldier.gif
For a Lost Soldier book cover
Directed by Roeland Kerbosch
Produced by Guurtje Buddenberg
Matthijs van Heijningen
Written by Don Bloch
Roeland Kerbosch
Rudi van Dantzig (novel)
Starring Maarten Smit
Jeroen Krabbé
Andrew Kelley
Freark Smink
Elsje de Wijn
Music by Joop Stokkermans
Cinematography Nils Post
Edited by August Verschueren
Distributed by Malofilm Distribution
Concorde Pictures
Release date(s) 22 May 1992
Running time 92 mins
Country Netherlands
Language Dutch
West Frisian
English

For a Lost Soldier (Dutch title: Voor een Verloren Soldaat) is a 1992 Dutch film based upon the autobiographical novel of the same title by ballet dancer and choreographer Rudi van Dantzig. It deals with the romantic / sexual relationship between a 12-year-old boy (Van Dantzig) and a Canadian soldier during the final months leading up to the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation during World War II.

Plot summary[edit]

Jeroen (Jeroen Krabbé) reminisces about the time in 1944 when he (Maarten Smit) and other boys were sent to the countryside by their parents to escape the war. The city suffers from food shortages, with more food available in the country. He stays with an eel fisher's family, but despite the abundance of food, he is plagued by homesickness. Jeroen and his friend Jan go to the ocean and see an American plane in the water; Jan tries to go under but claims there are too many eels and comes up with a big cut on his upper right thigh.

Things change when the village is liberated by Canadian troops. Jeroen meets Walt Cook (Andrew Kelley), a Canadian soldier in his early 20s, who befriends him. Jeroen revels in the attention the soldier showers on him, at first treating him like a little brother but eventually their relationship becomes sexual. His foster parents are aware of the closeness between Jeroen and the soldier, but it is unclear in the film whether they are aware of the sexual nature of the relationship.

After a few more days, Walt's troop are ordered to move and Walt leaves without saying goodbye to Jeroen. Jeroen hears about it from his foster sisters that they are leaving and he rushes to the soldiers home, but finds that they have already left. Jeroen is lying awake in his bed and notices that the scarecrow that posed as Walt when his foster family took pictures, and races outside to get it but when he touches it his hand is badly hurt and his taken inside by his foster dad. The next morning his hosted dad is burning the scarecrow and notices the sunglasses that Walt left on the wire. Jeroen is heartbroken, having only a photo to remind him of the soldier which turns out to be ruined in the rain. After the war is over, he returns to his family back in Amsterdam, where he decides to go to America later in his life.

The film ends with grown-up Jeroen affectionately recalling the story and trying to express it as a ballet dance. While rehearsing the dance, his assistant hands him an envelope. He opens the envelope to find an enlargement of the only photo of him and the foster family and also a further enlargement of the soldier's dog tag with his identification. He realizes that he can now find his lost soldier after all this time.

In the novel, Walt's name is Walter P. Narbutus.

Cast[edit]

Film Rating[edit]

  • The film is rated  R18  in New Zealand.

External links[edit]