Every year Dutch libraries hold a month-long festival ‘The Netherlands Reads’. The festival gives centre stage to a work of Dutch literature and this year the chosen title is the best-seller and classic ‘A Flight Of Rainbirds (Een Vlucht Regenwulpen)’ by Maarten het Hart. This novel, written in 1978, is being given away free from 1 to 30 November to members of public libraries. The novel was filmed in 1981 and has been re-issued by the EYE Film Museum. Tickets are only: € 5 if you have the “Nederland Leest” book with you.
Maarten, a 34-year-old professor of cell biology lives with his sick mother and is still a virgin. In response to an inescapable divine command, he goes in search of a woman, assisted by his alter ego. To avert disaster, the very shy, unworldly Maarten must find a woman within a week. His more adept alter ego regularly pops up in his fantasies and is keen to help him. It forces him to do things he would never otherwise dare to do, burdened as he is by a strict Calvinistic upbringing. He believes sex is something holy that should only be engaged in for reproductive purposes. In comic scenes he tries, nonetheless, to lose his virginity. Ultimately, his greatest challenge lies in escaping his upbringing and dominant mother.