Roaming through Paradise

A three part television series by Gerard d'Olivat.
An inside view into the life of homeless young people in the city of Rotterdam

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Part three of Roaming through Paradise was nominated for best short documentary at the Dutch Film Festival, Utrecht 1994

Willem, one of the main characters in Roaming through Paradise


Director Gerard d'Olivat followed a couple of youngsters living on the fringe of society in Rotterdam for six months.
Brigit was kicked out by her parents at the age of twelve. At fifteen she got pregnant. Now she is one of the many homeless children in the Netherlands. Willem grew up with his mother, who worked as a prostitute. He too was left by himself at the age of twelve. He went to various homes and boarding-schools before he chose to live in the streets. Their refuge is The Plataan, a home for homeless youngsters in Rotterdam.

Alternating between Brigit and Willem, their way of life is portrayed bit by bit. A life with many fall backs and crawling up again, use of drugs and petty crimes.
Yvonne, Brigit's supervisor and also guardian of her child, tries to help Brigit where possible. She takes her to visit her child, even organizes accommodation, but Brigit doesn't manage to translate her good intentions into deeds. She falls in love with the wrong boy and makes believe that she is pregnant. But in the end she has caught a venereal disease from her new boyfriend.
Willem doesn't do much better. He's caught for burglary. It almost seems to have become a habit for him. But it becomes really serious, when he wants to settle accounts. During an interrogation he confesses to have committed more than 200 burglaries. From then on his supervisor, Teun, can only watch helplessly how Willem goes to jail. After three month in prison nobody has visited him there. He has become quieter, more introvert. Brigit does witness that the judge changes his conviction into an alternative punishment, after 6 month of awaiting trial. Willem is sent to work on a farm in France. The film ends with his departure for France.


Script and direction: Gerard d'Olivat

With: Willem Prins, Brigit Does

Camera and light: Mark Bakker, Stef Tijdink

Sound: Floor Kooij

Editing: Floor Kooij   

Production: Kaie Klaassen Moving Image Production, Floor Kooij voor Yuca Film


Roaming through Paradise is one of a three parts series, a co production of Yuca Film and Moving Image Production, for TV1 The Netherlands / NCRV-Dokument, co financed by Kinderpostzegels Nederland, National Youth Fund, Nationaal Fonds voor de Geestelijke Volksgezondheid, Sophia Stichting voor het Zieke Kind, GGD voor Rotterdam en Omstreken, City of Utrecht, NCRV-Television

Original language: Dutch

Language versions: English subtitled

Release date: September, 1994

Duration: 50

Formats: video / digital