Director: Jean van de Velden
Runtime: 125 minutes
Starring: Gaite Jansen, Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, Benja Bruijning, Anna Raasveld, Neil Sandilands, Yannick van de Velde, De-Wet Nagel, Kees Boot, Negativ, Carel Nel, Estelle Terblanche, Werner Kolf, Genelva Krind
Description: Sarith (Gaite Jansen) and Mini-Mini (Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing) grow up on the sugar plantations of Suriname in the latter half of the eighteenth century. Where Sarith is the most beautiful woman in the colony, the mulatto Mini-Mini is forever in her shadow, slave to her own half-sister.
Review: Sarith lives on an idyllic plantation in Suriname with her slave Mini-Mini, around the eighteen hundreds. Looking for a husband doesn’t go smoothly, because she wants him to have status and wealth. The frustration drives Sarith and her family apart. Mini-Mini tries to help her, even though she’s becoming more arrogant and egotistic by the day.
The biggest problem the film has, is that you never have the feeling you’re watching a movie set in Suriname in the 1800s. The characters have a modern feel and look like it, even with the traditional costumes. The dialogues, tone and posture never feel realistic.
One of the strong points is the performance by Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing, who plays Mini-Mini. She is very unexperienced and really shines on the screen. The actors around her don’t really impress. It feels like they are in a competition whoever can pull of the most unbelievable performance.
The story is beautiful, but “Hoe Duur Was de Suiker” doesn’t do it justice. It’s forced and unrealistic. Shame, because it could have been so much better.
Rating: 2/ 5