“The Netherlands gave me shoes, a bicycle and a car,” says Hassan El Mrabet, 75. No, I’m calling the screen, you did it yourself. But the five men retired in Mokronado (WNL), the first generation of Dutch Moroccans who came to the Netherlands more than fifty years ago as guest workers, continue to express their gratitude as they review their (working) life in the Netherlands.
The men did hard, low-paid work that required no skills. As a bagger at Rank Xerox, on the assembly line at a meat processing company Compaxo, or as a thread-knot operator at Scheepjeswol. Mohamad from The Hague, who worked mainly night shifts, did the work of five men alone. “It was hellish,” Mohamed El Akher says of his work. “Dust, poison and everything by hand.”
Yet gratitude is heard all the time (“Xerox was my second mother,” one of them says in a Limburg accent), because the sense of extreme poverty many experienced in Morocco never left the men and because they were religious. So nothing but praise for the Netherlands and the Dutch.
Director Jalal Bouzmour Boulder Macros in Greetings from Holland (both BNNVara), himself a son of the first generation of Dutch people. This may explain why Mokronado It is primarily an ode to them, similar to the work of, for example, theater director Nasreddine Dashar and director Abdelkrim El Fassi. It is often because there is a (justified) feeling that there is little interest in these stories. The Islamic form of the commandment to “honor your father and mother” is deeply ingrained in many young people.
The Mokronados visit his former employer in every episode. Moroccans have meant a lot to the Netherlands, say company representatives. This acknowledgment greatly benefits men, who often feel emotional when they see the equipment they are used to working with.
The tone is more serious, and the images more thoughtful than in the picture Greetings from Holland, in which five older Dutch-Moroccan women take a closer look at Dutch identity. It also becomes clear how different men are. One is a conservative Muslim who does not want his wife to appear in the picture, and the other is a 90-year-old romantic who was photographed holding his wife’s hand.
However: once he mentions love or nurturing, he utters metaphors. According to Governor Mohamed, children are like honey: once mixed with water, it does not become pure honey. Then neither water nor honey, for it spoils. He says it happened to him, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. This does not happen.
Thus it turns out that the maker (unconsciously) is also imprisoned in a certain way. Because just as retirees seem to be grateful to the Netherlands, Bosmoor also symbolizes the younger generation’s cult of gratitude, which is not to criticize your parents, certainly not publicly.
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