The Shack (De Keet)

Director: Mirjam de With, Writer: Eveline Verwoerd, Producer: Family Affairs Film, Co-producer Omrop Fryslan, Netherlands, 10 x 25′, 2014, Rights: World

The series is set in Friesland. 19-year-old protagonist Diede is the coolest guy in the gang. The shack is a place where he and his friends come together in the Frisian countryside. One day Diede has a serious accident. He is completely paralyzed, suffers from locked-in syndrome and can’t even speak anymore. This does not only change Diede’s life drastically but also the lives of the people around him.

Diede is the happy go lucky youth until he is paralyzed after an accident and can no longer talk. His friends and family do their utmost to make it as fun as possible for Diede, but often their well-meaning efforts go wrong. Diede’s inner thoughts narrate the series in an ironic and comic voiceover observing how relationships and friendships are tested.

Will the accident tear up the small community? Or does it ultimately bring them closer together …

After the accident, Diede can no longer talk, but as a viewer, we remain close to him, because we can hear his thoughts in a voice-over. With this, he provides situations with an ironic commentary.

The central theme is standing on your own two feet. This does not only apply to young people who visit each other in the shack during the transition period to independence. But also for the adult characters, who each struggle in a different way with their independence and are unbalanced by the accident.

The drama may be intense, the series is told in a light-hearted way. For example, Diede’s father is watching birds in the field when Diede’s mother comes running in her dressing gown. The birds fly up and the viewer sees in a large total how the news is brought without hearing this. We get the information about Diede’s condition as we follow him into his coma world and he wonders what his parents are doing in the backseat of the car in which he gets a lift.

We hear Diede’s internal thoughts and are taken into his ironic and humorous universe.  We see imagination conjure up slightly bizarre and humorous scenarios such as Diede who waterskiing behind a car or Diede burying in his head on the beach, and a doll that bumps through the mud as Peter’s granddaughter has to go into the field to watch birds.