Review: For A Lost Soldier (1992)

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 the 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 and the latter have also shown interest to the young boy until such time that their relationship turned sexual.

This is 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 romanticized the whole thing, though, at the back of your mind, there’s this nagging thought about statutory rape, pedophilia and such.

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 doesn’t happen to everyone, I guess like the real life Jeroem Rudi Van Dantzig, we’ll always yearn for his lost soldier to come home.

Director: Roeland Kerbosch
Starring: Maarten Smit, Jeroen Krabbé, Andrew Kelley, Freark Smink, Elsje de Wijn

Rating: 8 out of 10 stars

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