Netherlands / Belgium 2011, 87 min, Dutch, age recommendation: 8 years and up
Chips with mayonnaise, red onions and hot saté sauce is what you get if you order Patatje Oorlog or ‘chips war’ in Holland. Holland has not been troubled by war for a very long time and nowadays war is something that happens elsewhere. And yet war can also affect people’s lives at home – so too the life of Kiek. This nine-year-old girl is very worried about her father, a doctor. He’s urgently needed in a foreign country ravaged by war. Kiek is afraid that even if he doesn’t use a weapon, her father could still be hit by a stray bullet. Although her mother explains that this is very unlikely, Kiek isn’t convinced and feels she needs to do something. Her childish logic gives rise to strange ideas: she imagines that if her beloved dog were to die, there would be less likelihood of something happening to her father. Then, when her father’s daily calls begin to dry up and cracks even start to appear in her mother’s carefully preserved façade, Kiek decides it’s time to act. Nicole van Kilsdonk’s non-sensationalist film portrays a problem which is today almost commonplace, as seen through the eyes of a child. The story also touches on existential questions, such as whether it is possible to live one’s life without taking risks.