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For a Lost Soldier

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1992 Dutch film.mw-parser-output .infobox-subbox{padding:0;border:none;margin:-3px;width:auto;min-width:100%;font-size:100%;clear:none;float:none;background-color:transparent}.mw-parser-output .infobox-3cols-child{margin:auto}.mw-parser-output .infobox .navbar{font-size:100%}body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-header,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-subheader,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-above,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-title,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-image,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-full-data,body.skin-minerva .mw-parser-output .infobox-below{text-align:center}

For a Lost Soldier (Dutch: Voor een Verloren Soldaat) is a 1992 Dutch coming-of-age romantic drama film directed by Roeland Kerbosch, based on the autobiographical novel of the same title by ballet dancer and choreographer Rudi van Dantzig. It is about two gay teenage boys experiencing their first romantic relationship during the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation.


In the 1980s, middle-aged ballet dancer/choreographer Jeroen is frustrated because he can’t really figure out why he isn’t satisfied with his students’ interpretation of his autobiographical ballet which they’re rehearsing. He keeps talking about his memories of Canada’s liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi occupation back in 1945, but never seems to mention the actual source of his fondness of those memories. While he and his colleague Laura are having a conversation in his office, during which he shows her a photo of himself as a 12- or 13-year-old with the foster family he spent the last year of World War II with, Laura notices documents on his desk which indicate he’s in search of a WWII soldier called Walt. He eventually decides to visit the village near Amsterdam in which he lived with his foster family. He takes with him a pair of vintage sunglasses and keeps having mental “conversations“ with his teenage self throughout the trip, during the first of which the story switches back to his memories of 1944-1945, starting with his 11- or 12-year-old self being sent to live with a foster family in the countryside by his mom in order to get enough to eat.

Despite his name getting confused with that of a female teenager from within the same group of refugee children, resulting in his foster family being assigned him instead of a girl, as they wished, the family is very loving towards him and sympathetic about the adjustment issues he, being a pubescent, at first experiences. It remains unclear whether his bed-wetting accident during the first night actually consists of him peeing himself or, considering he has to share a bed with his foster parents’ son, Henk, who’s only slightly older than him, rather of an accidental ejaculation.
Jeroen’s sexuality starts awakening, making him notice he’s gay. Towards the end of the war, a Canadian plane crashes into the sea at the nearby beach and starts fascinating the bored and frustrated young man. After he and his clumsy, bisexual friend Jan unsuccessfully try to explore the sunken plane against Jeroen’s foster family’s permission, Jan rapes Jeroen.

When an army of Canadian liberators festively enters the village, Jeroen and a Canadian soldier in his later teens start flirting with each other. At the party the soldiers host the same day, the two dance with each other while no one is watching.
Shortly afterwards, Jeroen and the young soldier, whose name is Walt, coincidentally meet again, and Jeroen follows Walt—who, like Jeroen, is shy and hormone-driven, yet openly gay and funnily self-confident—to his and his comrades’ accomodation. A bit later, Jeroen, Walt, Walt’s comrades and their female flirts, including the girl Jeroen was confused with during the assignment of their foster families, meet up at the beach. When the straight soldiers leave with the girls, the two boys take a walk along the lonely beach during which Walt, despite him and Jeroen not understanding each other’s language, keeps telling Jeroen about his life, and Jeroen shows Walt the crashed plane. Intending to get the jeep the soldiers have to share (due to their additional car being broken) to get to the other side of the beach and explore the plane, the two return to Walt’s accommodation. Since his comrades turn out to have taken the jeep’s key to prevent him from taking it so that they can give the girls a ride, he must go to his room to get his secret spare key. Having found it, he randomly decides to take a shower before returning to Jeroen, whom he’s told to wait outside the building. Jeroen, though, feeling that Walt is undressing, sneaks into his room, resulting in the two sleeping with each other.

Next time Jeroen is approached by Jan, he feels way more self-confident than before and decidedly defends himself against Jan’s new approach at sexually assaulting him.
He and Walt meet again the same Sunday at church. After mass, Walt asks Jeroen to meet him at the beach the following day to finally explore the plane, and tells him that he loves him. Jeroen’s foster father, Heit, expresses his dismay at him and Walt eating the candies Walt is supposed to share, which Jeroen at first mistakes for him having found out about their relationship/homosexuality and being upset about it.
The following day the couple finally manages to explore the plane they’re so fascinated by, and Walt gives his boyfriend a driving lesson. While Walt is fast asleep after the two have made love again, Jeroen looks through his photos and secretly puts one showing him alone in his uniform in his own shirt’s pocket before waking him up.
Throughout their relationship, the two adolescents keep switching between adult and childish behavior (kissing, having sex or talking about their emotions one moment and playing games or crying about irrelevant stuff the next). They also make friends with the girl confused with Jeroen in the beginning. Jeroen gets difficulties concentrating at school due to rather thinking about his boyfriend. One day Walt visits his boyfriend’s family to take a photo of them in their garden. Jeroen is disappointed that his love can’t be in the photo himself due to taking it, so Walt tells him to put his identification tag around the neck of the scarecrow behind Jeroen so that the scarecrow can serve as his substitute. A few moments later, though, his comrades arrive with their girlfriends and suggest to take a photo of him amidst his boyfriend’s family. When Jeroen tries to develop the photos, though, he accidentally destroys the film which contains the photo of the two together. He comforts Walt by promising they’ll take new ones, not knowing he doesn’t have the heart to tell him he and his comrades are leaving tomorrow. When he takes Jeroen home that night, he waits until he’s gone inside to approach Heit, trying to ask him to tell Jeroen what he can’t bring himself to tell him, but Heit doesn’t understand him.

When Jeroen hears a conversation between the elder of his foster sisters and their mutual female friend, he finds out the army has left and, devastated, pushes his younger foster sister off her bike to use it to search for Walt all day. When he returns home at night after realizing he’s gone, he realizes the laundry his elder foster sister—who immediately attacks him due to the way he’s treated her little sister—is hanging up contains the shirt in which he hid the photo of Walt, which is now nothing but a pile of wet scraps because he forgot to take it out. When horribly heartbroken Jeroen is woken up by a thunder storm that night, he sees the barb wire around the scarecrow shining through the window and thinks it’s still wearing Walt’s identification tag; running outside and grabbing for it, he impales his hand and is found by Heit, whom his scream has woken up. When Heit burns the scarecrow the following morning, he finds Walt’s sunglasses, which he forgot in their garden after taking their photos. When a letter Jeroen receives some time later turns out to be not from Walt but from his own parents, he runs to the beach heartbroken and sits down on the sunken plane, gazing into the distance. Soon afterwards, his mom comes to take him back home. As they leave, the crashed plane is revealed to be now hanging in the family’s garden as a decoration, and Heit tells Jeroen to send him one of the photos Walt has taken of them together. Recalling how painfully lovesick his teenage self was on the ferry one has to take to leave the village, adult Jeroen mentally tells him he doesn’t remember hearing Heit say that; his teenage self answers that he did hear it, but, heartbroken, forced himself to forget everything that had happened in that village.

The story returns to the present, Jeroen arriving at his students’ final rehearsal happy and satisfied with their interpretation, encouraging them to interpret the piece modernly. When Laura arrives, she hands him a large envelope which he immediately opens. After unpacking the photo of him and his foster family which he handed to Laura at the beginning of the movie (one of the photos taken by Walt) enlarged as a poster and smiling at her gratefully, he notices the envelope contains another photo of the same size: a zoom of Walt’s identification tag which the scarecrow behind him wore when the photo was taken, revealing his contact information.


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  • Maarten Smit as Jeroen Boman (teenager)
  • Jeroen Krabbé as Jeroen Boman (adult)
  • Andrew Kelley as Walter Cook
  • Freark Smink [nl] as Heit
  • Elsje de Wijn [nl] as Mem
  • Derk-Jan Kroon as Jan
  • Wiendelt Hooijer as Henk
  • Iris Misset as Bonden
  • Gineke de Jager as Elly
  • Tatum Dagelet [nl] as Gertie
  • Marie-José Kouwenhoven as Renske
  • Valerie Valentine as Laura
  • William Sutton as Chuck
  • Andrew Butling as Buikspreker
  • Andrew Cassani as Winslow


Stephen Holden of The New York Times praised the film’s “refusal to load the story with contemporary psychological and social baggage” but wrote that the film was unable to achieve a “coherent dramatic frame”. He added that the film does not insinuate Walt was responsible for harming Jeroen or had abused Jeroen, and also that within the work “is no mention of homosexuality.”[1]

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote that due to a lack of clarity over the homosexual themes, it “delves into issues far too serious and controversial for such questions to go unanswered.” He also stated that the confusion over language, as the film is partially in English and partially in Dutch, may have caused “lacks crucial clarity”, despite good acting.[2]


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  • ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit;word-wrap:break-word}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .citation:target{background-color:rgba(0,127,255,0.133)}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{color:#d33}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#3a3;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}Holden, Stephen (7 May 1993). “Treating a Delicate Story of a Soldier and a Boy Tenderly”. The New York Times. Retrieved 21 July 2019. One of the strengths of the film is […] assigns no blame and assesses no damages.
  • ^ Thomas, Kevin (6 August 1993). “MOVIE REVIEW : ‘Soldier’: A Brave Outing That Loses Focus”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  • External links[edit]

    • For a Lost Soldier at IMDb
    • For a Lost Soldier at AllMovie
    • For a Lost Soldier at Rotten Tomatoes
    • For a Lost Soldier: An Interview with the film director Roeland Kerbosch [1] Archived 13 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine

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    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_a_Lost_Soldier

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