World Cinema Amsterdam | Internationaal filmfestival | 18 – 27 Augustus 2016

30 mei 1969

John Leerdam | Curaao, Netherlands| 1995 | 70' |Dutch, Papiamentu | Dutch subtitles
30 mei 1969

For most people born and raised in the Netherlands May 30 is no more special than any other day. But for the inhabitants of Curacao it is an important commemoration day. On 30 May 1969 the black workers' of the Shell oil refineries anger came to a boil. A large crowd moved on to Willemstad's centre, leaving destruction in its wake. Local police didn't manage to stifle the uprising and the Dutch government sent a battalion of marines to restore order. Which they did successfully by resorting to violence. At the end of the day the grim results became apparent: two killed and hundreds wounded, including union leader Wilson Godett.

What exactly had happened? Where did all this rage come from? 25 years later, filmmaker John Leerdam spoke with people who had been directly involved, but also dove into NOB's archives to search for answers to these questions. Though Curacao was an autonomous part of the Dutch Kingdom in 1969, old colonial mechanisms were still at play in all aspects of daily life. The blacks were sick and tired of white contempt they wouldn't take it any more.


The director John Leerdam will be present for a Q&A after the screening.


Rialto: Fri 16 aug 19:30