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Short Film


Harry Kümel


Running Time: 50''

Main Cast :
Rutger Hauer - The King
Luciene Scheres - The Daughter
Paul Meyer - The Father
Jan van Oostendorp - Repelsteeltje

Harry Kümel from the fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers

A poor miller who had a beautiful daughter wanted to appear important and he told everyone an awful fib - that his daughter could spin straw into gold. The King loved gold more than anything else and so he ordered the miller to bring his daughter to his palace to have her spin straw and turn it into gold.

The poor girl had no idea how to do that, but suddenly, while alone in a room, she heard a small voice - it was a little man who assured her he could help her. She offered him her necklace for his favour and the little man turned every bit of straw into gold. When he saw it, the King was very satisfied and he ordered her to spin other straw, otherwise she would die. The little man helped her again, and she gave him her ring in return. But the King, who was very greedy, wanted more gold and promised her that this time he would make her his wife. The girl got into despair.

Again, the little man appeared to her and offered his help, but this time, in exchange, he asked her - when she would be Queen - her first born child. Desperate, she agreed. The King married her and she forgot about the little man until she gave birth to her first child. Then the little man reappeared to have her honour her promise. She got terribly upset and the man took pity on her and gave her three days to guess his name. If she succeeded, she would have kept her son.

After two days of wrong guesses, she sent some of her messengers to look for names and one of her servants came back with the right answer. When she told the little man his real name - Rumplestiltskin - he gave a scream of rage and disappeared.

Grimm Brothers, two 19th-century German scholars and brothers, who were leaders in the study of philology and folklore. Their names were Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Karl Grimm (1786-1859). Both brothers were born in Hanau. Jacob was primarily a scientific philologist. Wilhelm was more a textual and literary critic. In 1841, at the invitation of Frederick William IV of Prussia, they settled in Berlin, where they remained for the rest of their lives as teachers at the university. Jacob Grimm's greatest scientific work is “German Grammar” (1819), generally considered the foundation of Germanic philology. Wilhelm Grimm's works include editions and critical discussions of medieval German literature and folklore.

The Grimm brothers collected old German folktales from many sources and published them as “Household Tales” (1812). The collection, expanded in 1857, is known as “Grimm's Fairy Tales”. In 1854 the brothers published the first volume of the standard German dictionary, which was completed by other scholars in 1954.

“Repelsteeltje” was shot by the students of the Dutch Film Academy in 1971 and released in 1973.

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