Wit Licht (2008)

Child soldiers in Africa are at the fore in this tale of a white restaurant owner in an African town bordering a conflict zone. When his son's African friend Abu is abducted, he sets out to... - synopsis from IMDB

 Cast  - full listing


war, drama

 Facts & Figures

Directed by Jean van de Velde.

Rated 5.9 on IMDB from 1060 votes.

Runtime: 115 min.


A new year and a fresh Dutch movie to get it going nicely. Unfortunately, Wit Licht can’t live up to the media hype of CD, DVD and movie production all so carefully planned and intricately marketed for “the good cause”. All good intentions aside, I’ll let you make up your mind as to which cause that exactly is. Borsato is a highly respected singer in the Netherlands and is obviously not a professional actor. Sure, he’ll squeeze some obligatory emotions out at the right times, but the only one that really managed to stick for me was one of awkwardness as he takes us through the story in such a uncomfortable blur of too well-known facial expressions from previous videoclips. Is it fair to pick on things like this? Considering the effort and money that went into this project, I think so. Maybe Marco should have stepped aside to a supporting role and let a more experienced actor take the lead. It’s not as horrible as you might think from the above, but I feel this was a serious issue. If you want to get something across, get the best folk you can to get it done.

However, even a more experienced actor in the role wouldn’t have been able to wholly mask the poor storytelling. Each scene is a weird intertwine of action and drama and this just doesn’t work. Now, we’re looking at a person in despair and within seconds we’re in the middle of an action scene. Both fail to pan out to make any kind of impression. The story lacks pretty much any kind of surprise or plot-twist and unfolds in such a predictable manner you’d think this came straight out of kindergarten. What ever happened to character depth? Why include some shots of beautiful scenery when the link to the emotional crescendo is not there and the music can’t even carry the weight of the shot either? If you want to go Hollywood, you need to come out all guns blazing. If you want to show class, lay it out smoothly. If you want to display some artistic view, make it special, whichever way. Just don’t get stuck somewhere in between. Now we’re left with an utterly unconvincing sequence of scenes that fail to portray a message that so desperately needs all the attention it can muster.

Admiration is in order for such a dedicated pursuit of getting a serious subject on the political and social agenda. I wish there was the movie to admire along with it.

Seen: 04 Jan 2009

Wit Licht

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