Selected for Cannes Junior, 1998
Giffoni 1998: Best début
Olympia 1998: Best direction – Best film
Maurits is twelve and has become difficult and unruly, because he refuses to accept his mother's death. He just denies it.
His father, who restores paintings for a living is too sad himself to bother.
Maurits creates his own imaginary world in the nature surrounding his riverside village.
One spring day he encounters Moniek, a mysterious girl who appears every now and then and joins Maurits on his expeditions into the wetlands.
He shows her the foal he saw being born, teaches her the names of the birds and tells her how to play the dandelion game...
Maurits' lively curiosity and unreleased anger provoke extreme emotions. He starts a bonfire, with Moniek as Joan of Arc; when he finds a dead dog in the river, he almost goes berserk. At the end of summer, Moniek doesn't want to see Maurits ever again.
This time, Maurits can't just deny it. Frustrated, he tries magic to get Moniek back but it doesn't work.
Now he realises that he needs his father's help, which causes both of them to begin to find a way to accept their grief.
In the autumn, Moniek returns. She takes Maurits to his mother's grave and makes him really say goodbye to her.
The world is almost what it was: whole...
THE DANDELION GAME ends in the blinding whiteness of winter.
As his father finally decides to become a painter himself, Maurits wants Moniek to skate with him across the frozen river.
But Moniek refuses: he has to do it all on his own...
Peter Van Wijk
Michel van Laer SBC
Jules van den Steenhoven NSC
Willy Stassen SBC
Raymond van 't Groenewoud
Jan Dop CSC
Hens van Rooij