The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
Chicago Theatrical Premiere
ONE PEOPLE (WAN PIPEL)
Recommended! "Eye-opening... De la Parra depicts his [protagonist's] rediscovery of Suriname as an exuberant rite of passage, rich in flora, music, and fashion." -Chicago Reader
"At once nostalgic and incisive, One People revels in cultural trappings—music and dance, clothing and cuisine—while remaining sharply critical of the society that produced them" -TimeOut Chicago
Roy (Borger Breeveld) is a young black Surinamese studying in Amsterdam. When he learns that his mother is seriously ill, he borrows money from his Dutch girlfriend to return home. Surprisingly, Roy finds himself coping with an inner struggle when he sets foot on land in his native country. He had seemingly acclimated to the Netherlands, but he begins to have doubts about his cultural identity as he becomes re-acquainted not only with the history of his nation, but also of his parents and ancestors as well.
Events then take a different turn when he scandalizes everyone by having a relationship with Rubia, a Hindu nurse. The Hindu community is imbued with its own customs and rituals and the fact that Rubia has a sexual relationship with Roy, is seen as a disgrace in her world, proving that discrimination occurs among all groups. Will Roy stay with Rubia and remain in his newly independent homeland, or will he follow his family's wishes and return to Holland? The Netherlands is seen as the promised land and Roy is seen as squandering an opportunity to break free of his background.
Director De la Parra shows us a country with a great diversity of people and the title, "wan pipel" stands for "a people", but differences and prejudice remain. One People, Suriname's first feature-length drama after independence, is a beautiful and fascinating film that deserves more attention.
Directed by Pim de la Parra, Suriname/Netherlands, 1976, 35mm, 111 mins. In Dutch, Hindustani, Sranan and Tongo with English subtitles