The Last Class

  • education

The Last Class (2012) follows the final year of the little elementary school 't Veurland in the Drentse village of Ansen. A small school staff and 20 children are the remainders of the once vibrant village school. Since 23 is the legal minimum limit for elementary schools in the Netherlands, on 1 October 2011, the sad decision was taken to close the school.

The Last Class follows the activities of the little school throughout its last school year. From the first day of summer vacation until the last school day, the schools traditions are recorded: the excitement of the first day, fall vacation, Christmas vacation, the seasonal school crafts, the school trip, to the end year musical. The somewhat cynical director Martijn and the young teacher Joost have their own opinions, but are fully committed and do their best for their dying school. Everything that we see is being done for the last time here as the little school's era comes to an end.

At the same time, Ansen prepares itself for a change. A large bungalow park is being built and tourists come to enjoy what they sense to be authentic village life. Farmers start their own little honey shops, three second hand shops have opened, and a restaurant with 'zuthentic Drents food.'

While the real Ansen is fading away, a new form of authenticity is born.

A coproduction between Viewpoint Productions and RTV Drenthe, with the support of the Dutch Cultural Media Fund.

Written and directed by Camiel Zwart.