Louise and Martine Fokkens as seen in MEET THE FOKKENS, a film by Rob Schroder and Gabrielle Provaas. Picture courtesy Kino Lorber. All rights reserved.
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Meet the Fokkens (2011/2012)
Opened: 08/08/2012 Limited
|Film Forum/NYC||08/08/2012 - 08/28/2012||21 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
Genre: Biographical Documentary (Dutch w/English subtitles)
Meet the Fokkens follows Louise and Martine as they spend their days exploring the streets of Amsterdam in matching floral outfits, painting, shopping for vibrators, and playfully interacting with old friends and strangers alike. The film also reveals intimate moments of the twins' past work in the sex industry and Martine's present experience as a prostitute.
Though Louise has quit the business, Martine needs the money and still works in the Red Light District daily. Dolled up in lipstick and leather, she attracts customers through a window decorated with sexy black boots and lingerie. Sometimes passer-bys laugh at her age--but she still gets business. The film provides a first-hand look at Martine's rendezvous with clients as she gives them what they ask for while remaining ever in control.
The Fokkens' rosy-cheeked laughter never stops. They dance on the street, enjoy an afternoon at the beach and a day tumbling in the snow. Behind the playfulness, however, a sadder story exists. The film delves into the Fokkens' past through recounted memories, old photographs, and home videos. But although past struggles and hardships are exposed and a heartbreaking back-story is revealed, the remarkable attitudes and incredible spirits of the Fokkens remain the clear focus of the film.
About the Fokkens
Louise and Martine Fokkens are 69-year-old identical twins living in Amsterdam. Both worked as prostitutes for over fifty years, first entering the profession because of pressure from Louise's abusive husband. While they initially worked under the control of pimps they eventually became independent workers and started their own brothel--and they even played a significant role in setting up the first independent union for prostitutes. But due to government corruption and outside pressures, the Fokkens were evicted from their brothel and forced to once again find their way. While Martine still works as a prostitute, Louise called it quits several years back due to her arthritis.
About the Directors
Gabrielle Provaas and Rob Schroder are both filmmakers from the Netherlands. Having worked together a decade ago on the television documentary series Bonanza, Meet the Fokkens is their newest collaboration.
Provaas received her PhD in film and television studies from the University of Amsterdam and studied screenwriting at Binger FilmLab, a training program for new professional filmmakers. She currently works with several production companies--including De Haaien and Submarine--and is the deputy director of the International Bunker Film Festival. In the past, Provaas has worked as an editor at VPRO Broadcasting, a screenwriter for Phantavision, and has curated for the National Glassmuseum in Leerdam.
Schroder studied graphic design at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where he later spent fifteen years teaching in the graphic design and audio visual departments and helped found the graduate program for art and design. Shroder has worked for several programs for VPRO Broadcasting, including Tegenlicht, DNW, and Bonanza, where he was the program director. Schroder is known for his work on the films All Souls and Moral Panic, and has exhibited art at the Centraal Museum Utrecht.