Times are hard for Jojo. This ten year old boy lives alone with his father, a bear-like night watchman, in a rural area. And what about his mother? Is she really touring the U.S. as a country singer? The father tries to hide his despair. But he drinks, sleeps fully dressed in his bed and is out of control. Why does he forbid Jojo to make his mother a cake for her birthday? Jojo is left to himself with his many questions and worries. Father and son need time to learn to deal with the drama in their family.
Jojo’s only solace is a young jackdaw that has fallen out of his nest, and which he secretly takes in. Rearing the little bird, which is even more vulnerable than himself, gives Jojo a feeling of happiness and responsibility. A girl from his swimming club also becomes interested in him. But when the truth about his mother can no longer be denied, he is still at risk of losing his fragile hold on life.
With his first feature-length film Boudewjin Koole has succeeded in creating a touching portrait of a boy who is struggling with a difficult family situation. Every detail reflects his need, but also his unbridled joy at the beautiful moments in his life.
by Boudewijn Koole
with Rick Lens, Loek Peters, Susan Radder, Hüseyin Cahit Ölmez
Netherlands 2012 81’ recommendation: 9 years and up

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