The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.">

Movie Review: Meet the Fokkens


Published:

Meet the Fokkens opens tonight at
The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

Meet the Fokkens plays as a lengthy conversation between two grandmothers, with the salacious exception that these two ladies have a lot of sultry discussions. The questionably titled — yet interesting, and occasionally startling — documentary follows Louise and Martine Fokkens, 70-year-old identical twins who have spent much of their lives working in the red light district of Amsterdam. It opens tonight at The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

We meet the two ladies at a pivotal point in their lives. Louise is looking to retire from the business, while Martine carries on: it’s the only thing she knows how to do in life. The stories they tell — about past liaisons and experiences, escaping from pimps and running their own brothel — are fascinating, if they are true to memory.

The women are compelling figures. Old age is a problematic issue in an industry starring the young and beautiful, but these women are defiant. They stroll hand-in-hand down the streets of Amsterdam in matching outfits, chatting with their neighbours and shopping for the latest in sex paraphernalia.

The most entertaining parts of the film are the simplest: the two women chatting casually, as if the cameras aren’t pointed at them; reminiscing, bickering and making fun, just like the closest of sisters. This is a take on the world of prostitution that isn’t explored all that often — it’s more illuminating than investigatory.

As a Dutch film, a bit is lost in translation, though it’s still insightful and funny. It may be unnerving to some, as we see Martine tending to clients in scenes that are graphic, but the scenes are humanizing, too. 

Underlying the casual discussions about sex and toys and techniques and desires is the saddening and all too universal realization that at some point you will not be doing what you have been doing for your whole life. Change is hard, regardless of your career, and we are confronted with that here, against the backdrop of prostitution in Amsterdam.

Meet the Fokkens, The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123. Now - Jan. 6

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Ashkenaz and Roncesvalles festivals on tap in Toronto

Ashkenaz and Roncesvalles festivals on tap in Toronto

Every two years, the Ashkenaz Festival brings incredible artists to Toronto to celebrate Jewish culture and music. The Roncy neighbourhood is home to North America’s largest celebration of Polish culture.
Posted 34 minutes ago
 North of Bloor Crime Briefs: Overnight break-ins on the rise

North of Bloor Crime Briefs: Overnight break-ins on the rise

Toronto Police Services (TPS) have warned the public of a series of overnight residential break-ins in the Rosedale and Leaside neighbourhoods.
Posted 19 hours ago
Meet Denis Shapovalov, the GTA’s new tennis phenom

Meet Denis Shapovalov, the GTA’s new tennis phenom

It’s been a wild year so far for Denis Shapovalov. The 17-year-old Richmond Hill native has burst onto the tennis stage in 2016, surpassing even his own expectations.
Posted 23 hours ago
Workout with Monika: A trip to the Annex to gear up for the 2020 Games

Workout with Monika: A trip to the Annex to gear up for the 2020 Games

­­Monika gets an intro lesson on indoor climbing, the newest Olympic sport
Posted 4 days ago
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module