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Martinus’ Plak is a campsite in the Dutch province of Brabant, and its name hides a touching, personal story. The regional word plak means “pasture,” and Martinus is the first name of its former owner, the father of 10-year-old Jolijn. Speaking in voice-over, she introduces us to her family and her home – to the campsite, the animals, her sisters and her mother.
She also explains that she can’t remember much about her father, who died when she was two. Jolijn misses him every day, and she’s concerned that Martinus (“Tien,” for short) is going to be forgotten – especially now that her mother is about to remarry.
“I’ve got everything,” she laments, “except for my father.” But he’s not about to be forgotten. Her sisters bring up memories of him, and her future stepfather explains how he feels connected to Tien. The camera is an understated presence in the intimate conversations that paint a loving portrait of Tien. The summery scenes at the campsite, the liveliness of the family and the sense of solidarity between the sisters combine to form a subtle counterweight to the seriousness of the subject. And Jolijn has a great idea about how to solve her problem.