Friday, 8 June 2007

Film Review: Winkys Horse

A big Thank You to Matt for reviewing Kidz in the Hood for Arts Rocket.

Winky's Horse
A film by Mischa Kamp, Belgium, The Netherlands, 96 min

After living in The Netherlands for a few years, my family and I were very excited to watch a film that would indulge us in the chance to reminisce. So we settled in for a night with home -made popcorn and a copy of the Belgium/Dutch film Winky's Horse.

Winky emigrates to The Netherlands from China with her mother to join her father, who moved to The Netherlands three years prior to Winkys arrival to open his own Chinese restaurant . The language barrier is difficult when Winky must attend a Dutch school and finds making friends her own age complicated. Winky befriends a local horse and unbeknown to her parents Winky secretly visits him daily. Unfortunately the horse is ill and her owners must put her down. (This may upset younger viewers.)

Sintaklaas season is approaching and Winky believes that Sintaklaas is her best chance in getting her own horse. Unfortunately for Winky her parents are oblivious to the traditions of the Dutch Santa Clause and many of Winkys efforts in participating are foiled. One tradition is leaving your shoe with a carrot inside by the end of your bed. In the morning Sintaklaas replaces the carrot with a small treat. Winky's father trips over the shoe late in the evening and puts it back in the shoe rack. This not deter Winky in her belief and relaying her one wish to SintaKlaas.

Ebbie Tam is charming as Winky and throughout the film we are introduced to an eclectic array of characters that make up Winky's new life in The Netherlands.

Winky's Horse is an enchanting film suitable for children and adults. The film covers the acceptance of other cultures and an insight into emigration from a childs view. It would be fantastic if children in Australia had more access to foreign films and this does look promising as major film festivals have introduced children strands to their program.

I asked my eldest son to write his review of the film. I gave him a list of guiding questions to help him form his review.

Winky's Horse - Review by Oscar Byrne

What is the movie about?
The movie is about a little girl from China and she moves to The Netherlands with her mum to be with her dad and to help in his restaurant. She has to make new friends and learn how to speak Dutch and go to a Dutch school. Her first friend is a horse. She has to keep the horse a secret from her mum and dad. She learns about the Dutch Santa..Sintaklaas and asks him to get her a horse of her own.
What was your favourite part?
My favourite part is when Winky meets the horse because she was lonely and the arrival of Sintaklaas.
What didn't you enjoy in the film?
I didn't like it when she thought the horse that was in the playground was hers but it belonged to Sintaklaas. Why? She was very upset.
Would you recommend other kids to see the film?
Yes, I would recommend it to children aged 7 years or above.

Oscars score: 4 out 5

Winky's Horse will have its Australian premiere in the Kids' Films strand of the Sydney Film Festival on Sunday 17th June 12.45pm, Greater Union George Street.

Winky's Horse will be screened in Dutch with English subtitles and a live translation for younger viewers.

Suitable for children aged 6 and above.
Please note that no person under the age of 15 years is admitted to the screening of this film unless in the company of a parent or adult guardian.

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