Hoe Duur Was De Suiker (The Price of Sugar) – **(*)

Posted: November 28, 2014 in 18th Century, 2013, Costume Drama, Drama, Historical, Netherlands, Romance, South Africa, XX1/2

Based on a famous Surinamese book, Hoe Duur Was De Suiker (literally: How Expensive Was The Sugar) is set in the Dutch colonial sugar plantations at the end of the 18th century. Life was boring for the rich owners and hard for their slaves. But nobody suffered more than Sarith, a young woman so beautiful and lustful that many men wanted to bed her, but ignored her when looking for a wife.

It’s sad to write that all the focus in this movie (a shortened version of a tv series) lies on this one egocentric, arrogant, mean, soulless, but dramatically very convincing manipulating bitch. She’s not quite Vivien Leigh, but Gaite Jansen does an excellent job as the main character of this Gone With The Wind-like historical drama.

Ironically enough, the producers decided to tell the story from the viewpoint of her personal slave, in order to make it look more like a historical account rather than a romantic soap drama. The setting is great, a lot of time and money was spent on the costume design and some scenes are brutal both mentally and physically. The price of sugar was paid at the cost of inhumanity, deprivation and death.

But in the end it’s really all about a manipulating screwed up psycho slut. So, don’t expect a Dutch version of 12 Years A Slave. 

www.imdb.com/title/tt2691498

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