Two people from completely different worlds - a grumpy old Dutchman and a young African refugee - are thrown into an unlikely and growing friendship. Jansen's documentary background and use of non-professionals contribute to a fresh feature début without clichés.
Sleeping Rough is a film about the young Sudanese refugee Majok and a Dutch East Indian veteran. Majok is looking for a safe place in Holland, but doesn't dare report to the authorities. He really only feels at home with the cows, that remind him of his home country. The East Indian veteran is the eightyyearold Jakob. Disappointed with life, he passes his days in loneliness, angry at everyone and at the whole world. When these two loners meet, it turns their whole life upsidedown.It must be partly thanks to her background as documentarymaker that, in her debut film, Eugenie Jansen manages to realise such a striking combination of documentary authenticity and gripping storyline. One of the film's most powerful aspects is that this story about two lonely people from different worlds is told on such a modest scale. Sleeping Rough manages to avoid the possible pitfalls of clichés and political correctness in a delicate away. Situated in an `inbetween' land, an area that is neither true countryside nor big city, the film is sustained by mood and by the actors. That the two leading roles are played by new faces make their achievement as great as that of those who cast them.