Behind the red lights
Meet the Fokkens introduces the remarkable twin sisters who worked as Amsterdam prostitutes for 40 years.
Many visitors to Amsterdam probably head straight to the red-light district. For me, visiting IDFA this week, I headed straight to the video library to catch up with one of the festival’s buzz hits, Meet The Fokkens.
This highly charming documentary is about Louise and Martine Fokkens, identical twins who worked as prostitutes in Amsterdam’s Red Light district for more than 40 years.
They reminisce about the old days in the district, dish about the secret habits of customers, go shopping for sex toys, and prance around in some fabulously colourful matching outfits doting on a tiny dog and laughing and singing. Oh, and they also mount their first exhibition of paintings.
Of course, sex work isn’t a glamorous career, and they talk about how they were forced into the world by abusive men in their lives, and how they have abandoned other dreams for themselves. Eventually, they freed themselves from control of the pimps and ran their own brothel. Sisters doing it for themselves, indeed.
Of being an older face in the district, one of the twins remarks: “Every age has its charm.” These ladies prove that.
Rob Schroder & Gabrielle Provaas directed the Submarine production. Autlook is handling sales.
More info and trailer at the film website.