Meet Louise and Martine Fokkens: 69-year-old identical twins who have worked as prostitutes in Amsterdam's red light district for over 50 years. Louise is newly retired due to arthritis ("I couldn't get one leg over the other"), but Martine carries on, unable to support herself on a state pension. Between explicit scenes of her daily grind, she and Louise stroll the city in matching outfits, recounting hilariously ribald stories from a lifetime of sex work. (Discussing a client who was a chaplain, one recalls: "Don't you remember, we even had a little confessional".
An immensely affectionate portrait of two women who have seen and done everything (and everyone), Meet the Fokkens is a rollicking and revealing look at the world's oldest profession in the 21st century.
Although the title and box art suggest a cheery, ribald documentary, Rob Schroder and Gabrielle Provaas's Meet the Fokkens is a somewhat darker profile of blonde, outgoing, plus-sized, identical-twin Dutch sisters Louise and Martine Fokkens, who were tandem sex-workers for five decades in Amsterdam's red light district. Seen now at the age of 69, Louise has been compelled to retire due to arthritis, and perseveres as a painter (often of street life and vice). The venerable Martine continues to cater to kinky johns and masochists, although a faith-based charity organization aspires to get her off the streets (Martine is mildly suspicious of the whole deal). The sisters' backstories are unromantic: factory-worker Louise was brutalized into selling herself by her hoodlum husband-turned-pimp, and she lost her daughter to social services (although they are now on friendly terms). Martine simply followed her twin into the business. Despite Holland's reputation for admirable social liberalism with its legal sex market, the dialogue here suggests that a greedy Mafia-style cabal runs the industry. During their heyday, however, the Fokkens belonged to a too-rare independent brothel in which women enjoyed more empowerment. A spicy offbeat look at not your run-of-the-mill senior issues, Meet the Fokkens - which features full-frontal nudity (and genital manipulation) - is recommended for more adventurous collections. Video Librarian (3 out of 4 stars)
"Thoroughly entertaining and charming!" - Mark Adams, Screen Daily