Annie van Ees and Albert van Dalsum in Boefje (1939)
Annie van Ees and Albert van Dalsum in Boefje (1939)
Boefje (1939)

The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present


Douglas Sirk | Netherlands | 1939 | Unclassified (15+)

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46-year-old veteran stage actor Annie van Ees plays a 12-year-old delinquent who, with his best friend and partner in crime Pietje, dreams of ditching his hometown of Rotterdam for the idealised shores of America. Sirk’s last European production before he embarked upon a career in the US was a film he made in the Netherlands whilst in exile from pre-war Nazi Germany. A Dickensian critique of the Dutch class system, with shades of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, Sirk explores the societal and human struggles between punitive, cynical and redemptive sensibilities.

35mm print courtesy of Eye Filmmuseum.

Format: 35mm
Language: Dutch with English Subtitles
Source: Eye Filmmuseum
Duration: 94 mins


94 mins


Unclassified (15+)


Cinema 1, Level 2
ACMI, Fed Square

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Also screening on Wed 7 September

About the program

Best known as the director of a string of lavish Hollywood melodramas made for Universal Pictures in the 1950s, Douglas Sirk’s (1897–1987) feature-film career spanned almost 40 films between 1935 and 1959. He was a successful theatre director in Weimar Germany prior to transferring his passion and critical eye to the silver screen, moving from Nazi Germany to the United States in the late 1930s.

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Douglas Sirk headshot

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Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

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