The film is called Sonny Boy – a Dutch film that tells the true story of the “forbidden” relationship between Waldemar Nods, a 19-year-old student from Suriname, and Rika van der Lans, a married Dutch woman in her 40s, and mother of 4 children. The pair meet in the 1920s, fall in love, and Rika becomes pregnant soon thereafter, causing a scandal with far-reaching consequences, leading up to the World War II.
The film, directed by Dutch director Maria Peters, is based on a novel of the same name, written by Annejet van der Zijl.
News comes today that Sonny Boy will be the Dutch submission in the Best Foreign Language Oscar category, representing The Netherlands.
Released in The Netherlands in January this year, I don’t believe Sonny Boy has had a theatrical run in the USA yet. According to IMDB, it screened at the Stony Brooks Film Festival in July; nothing else since then. Though it’s my understanding that, unlike other awards, the Foreign Language Oscar doesn’t require that the film have opened in the USA to qualify. Though I’d assume that if it does end up on the short list of nominees, it’ll get a North American release to take advantage of the pub; assuming there aren’t already plans to release it in the States this fall.
It’s worth noting that the name “Sonny Boy” is a nickname the couple gave to their son, who’s till alive today, at 81 years old; they got the name from the Al Jolson song that was released the year that they met.
Watch the trailer below, photo of the real-life couple and their son underneath: