Miss Kiet's Children

Miss Kiet's Children

Kiet Engels is the kind of teacher one wishes every schoolchild could have. She is strict but never harsh. She is loving but never soft. Her patience in endless.

Many of Miss Kiet's pupils are refugees who have just arrived in Holland. Everything is new and confusing. Some are quarrelsome and headstrong. But Miss Kiet's firm but loving hand brings calm and awakens interest. She not only teaches her pupils to read and write Dutch, but also helps them learn to solve problems together and respect one another. Slowly the children gain skills and confidence.

Haya is at first impetuous, yet fearful. Little by little, Miss Kiet helps her to find her friendly side. Leanne is quiet and lonely. But after a few months she able to tell everyone, in Dutch, that she loves Branche. Jorj has trouble sleeping and is unruly. His little brother Maksim has terrible nightmares. Miss Kiet's tenacity helps Jorj discover that learning can be worthwhile and even fun.

By observation alone, without interviews or voice-over, the film focuses on four refugee children of different nationalities. Pursuing their perspective, the camera follows at close hand their struggles to learn a new language, their fights, their friendships and their first loves.

By the end of the documentary, an affectionate community has grown-the fruit of a teacher's patience and dedication. A film of many touching moments, some of them hilarious, MISS KIET'S CHILDREN chronicles changes that are small yet at the same time immense.

'Veteran duo Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster deliver a master class in nonfiction filmmaking with MISS KIET'S CHILDREN, one of the year's truly outstanding European documentaries... The result is a lovely, upbeat, even life-affirming film.' - The Hollywood Reporter

'A documentary jewel: subtle but powerful with a faultless feeling for what goes on in children's heads. A small monument for a teacher, but above all for her brave class.' - De Volkskrant

'Everything you heard about MISS KIET'S CHILDREN is true. Easily the best Dutch film of the year.' - Trouw Newspaper

'[4 stars] This entirely engrossing, tender and shrewdly observed documentary is the study of a special infant school class in the Netherlands, which is set aside for the children of migrants and refugees-largely from Syria... A lovely film.' - The Guardian

'MISS KIET'S CHILDREN is all about hope and what can be achieved by one good woman. A beautifully judged piece.' - ScreenDaily


Main credits

Lataster-Czisch, Petra (filmmaker)
Lataster, Peter (filmmaker)
Lataster, Peter (cinematographer)
Engels, Kiet (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editor, Mario Steenbergen; camera, Peter Lataster.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Youth Issues


; "Miss Kiet's Children"; Icarus Films; Kiet Engels; refugees; Netherlands; Europe; Middle East; trauma; PTSD; youth;

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