Main Cast : Rutger Hauer - Hugo
Monique van de Ven - Keetje Tippel
Andrea Domburg - Mother
Jan Blaaser - Father
Hannah De Leeuwe - Sister Minna
Eddie Brugman - André
Peter Faber - George
Screenplay: Gerard Soeteman from the autobiography by Neel Doff
Plot: Keetje is one of the children in an impoverished, oversized rural family that, like many others, migrated to Amsterdam in 1881 in search of food and work.
A raw, coarse, naive girl, she fights against hazing by her fellow workers in a lethal wool factory, is subjected to rape at the hands of a milliner, submits to a doctor who names sex as his price for saving her from death from tuberculosis and becomes a whore under the chaperonage of her mother before her life takes a sudden turn for the better.
One of her sisters is a prostitute, her younger brother takes money from a homosexual. People steal bread. Water floods their homes. Wooden shoes are used for firewood.
But thanks to her strong character, she survives all of the above and succeeds in introducing herself in the most elevated ranks of society.
The film is based on the biography of Neel Doff, who at that time created a strong social impact in people’s mind with her recollections of her climbing up the steep stairs to a decent life.
When it was released in theaters, the film was acclaimed as a spectacular fresco of what Dutch low social classes looked like in those times, but it was also censored in some countries and labelled as a pornographic movie.
Then, its artistic value was recognized all over the world.