The Whole Wide World

Status: Completed
Hamza, Melika and Mina came to the Netherlands as refugees when they were young children. They work or study and make plans for their future. As they find their way through life they feel indebted to their parents who sacrificed their lives for them, struggle to adapt to life in a country that isn’t always welcoming, and have a complicated connection to their home country. Some want to break free from their parents religious and cultural traditions. All of them live complex lives that take place between two cultures. They feel a great pressure to success in life, so the chance of failure always lurks.

Their primary school teacher Teade Walma has always cherished the portrait photo’s he took of his students. 15 years later, he is curious to see how they are doing, so he decides to look them up.

The Whole Wide World is an intriguing look into the identity of three bright young people that live in two worlds, and the obstacles they have to conquer to arrive and acquire a place for themselves in a new society.

“The Whole Wide World is a sweet, small documentary in which three young adults look back on their asylum past and show how they deal with the effect this past has on their daily lives.”

– OneWorld

“The beautiful documentary is of a comforting everydayness. (…) In The Whole Wide World you actually have the feeling of getting past the front door.”

– NRC-Handelsblad

“The emotions that come to the surface during the discussions that the adolescent [Melika] has with her mother, was captured beautifully by the director.”

– VPRO Gids

“De Wijde Wereld tells the hopeful story of a few nice young people who started living a normal life after a dramatic start.”

– Trouw

The Whole Wide World - Official Selection NFF 2019


Scenario & director Sherman De Jesus
Camera Deen van der Zaken
Sound Wouter Veldhuis, Bouwe Mulder
Editor Caitlin Hulscher
Music Alex Simu
Sound design Mark Glynne, Tom Bijnen
Broadcaster KRO-NCRV