For a Lost Soldier is a 1992 Dutch film based on the autobiographical novel by ballet dancer and choreographer Rudi Van Dantzig. It is a tender story of the bond between Jeroem (Maarten Smit,) a young boy from Amsterdam during World War 2, and a Canadian soldier named Walt (Andrew Kelley), who helped liberate the Nazi-invaded country.
Since the arrival of the Canadian troops, Jeroem found himself somewhat attracted to the young soldier. The latter has also shown interest in the young boy until their relationship turned sexual.
This is the part where it gets tricky and somehow off-putting. Walt is of legal age or, let’s say, past the age of 18, most likely in his early 20’s while Jeroem is at the cusp of adolescence. It is so easy to romanticize the whole thing, though there’s this nagging thought about statutory rape, pedophilia, and such at the back of your mind.
What I loved best about the film is that I was able to feel the mood of that era or that moment between the lives of Walt and Jeroem. The nostalgia felt by Jeroem was so palpable I’m aching for them to be reunited. Sorry for the spoiler!
I wanted some closure, but since happy endings don’t happen to everyone, I guess like the real-life Jeroem, we’ll always yearn for his lost soldier to come home.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Cast: Maarten Smit, Andrew Kelley
Director: Roeland Kerbosch