Dear Miss Schaap,
I have just seen 'Gaandeweg', which is - if I am not mistaken - your first movie and I must tell you it left me ... dismayed!
Not that you do not know how to make a film technically. It is well framed, the sound is good and the young actress, Gaite Jensen, is appropriately chosen.
But what I disliked (and I am not the only one) about 'Gaandeweg' is your fear of (emotional) commitment. Let me explain myself : the situation you have chosen to illustrate (the last hours spent in her family by a teenage girl about to leave for a distant school) is potentially rich in emotions. Everybody has gone through such an experience at least once in their lives: leaving the comfort of a warm and safe environment for the frightening unknown. So everybody knows how alarming such a situation can be, even if they do feel like going away, even if, in the long term, they have everything to win in the departure.
That's why I understand your determination not to overdo it. But the trouble is that you fall into the inverse trap. The basic problem is that we average viewers barely understand what your film is about if
we have not read the summary beforehand: what you show, Miss Schaap, is Sophie (never called by her name in the course of the story) walking to and fro between the members of her family, saying almost nothing, while her sisters, brothers, mother (nothing indicates why the father is missing) and neighbors do uninteresting things like phoning, peeling an orange,shaving one's legs, putting cream on one's hands. Only three vague indications are given about what is going on actually: Sophie packing books in a cardboard box, the mother on the phone asking her how far it (her school) is and the only (slightly) moving scene during which the mother taking Sophie's head on her shoulder tells her: "it's distressing, isn't it?". This is much too little for a movie lasting 22 minutes. As a result your film, instead of being gut-wrenching, soon becomes boring and even, as the minutes tick by, outright annoying.
Of course the happy few may praise 'Gaandeweg' but, next time, think of us average viewers, Miss Schaap. We like to FEEL something. Please believe in what you film, show sympathy (and I am sure you have some) for your characters without overdoing it of course. But if too much is a sin too little is too.
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