12 February 2012 | samdemagnifieke
Emotional, but in a believable way
Many children's films, when dealing with a difficult subject, tend to become a little preachy, or try to put some sort of message of hope or purpose into it. Not this film. I watched it with my daughter this afternoon, and was pleasantly surprised by its sincere approach. Akkie is a popular girl in class. She's a rough 12 year old who likes playing football and gets into fights. When she is diagnosed with leukaemia, she is admitted to the hospital. Determined to get better before the school football tournament, she puts on a brave face and tries her best to get better. We follow Akkie as she's in and out of treatment, and we watch how this affects her relationship with her friends and her parents.
Achtste Groepers Huilen Niet (Eighth Graders Don't Cry) doesn't hide the truth when it comes to dealing with such an awful disease as leukaemia. Akkie, her parents and her friends all have to deal with the uncertainty of whether or not she will pull through. Though initially brave-faced, the seriously weakening and drawn-out nature of the disease cause her to feel anger, sadness, despair and resign, all quite believably played by Hanna Obbeek.
This is not a happy children's film, because it is not a happy subject. It doesn't use movie magic to give you a warm fuzzy feeling. It's a story about a girl who gets leukaemia. Of course it's gonna get ugly. What'd you expect?