Working For Labour

120 minutes documentary by Niek Koppen about the election campaign of the Dutch Labour Party and Prime Minister Wim Kok.

4 March 1998. The Dutch Labour Party is in buoyant mood as the country votes in the local council elections. The figures indicate that the nation liked the results of four years of ‘Purple 1’, a coalition government between three parties across the political spectrum, spearheaded by Labour leader and Prime Minister Wim Kok. In 62 days the nation will vote again but this time in the General Elections. The young campaign team has a huge task ahead. The party must remain the largest coalition partner so that Wim Kok can return to power a second time. However, Kok himself has never won an election before.

These are the opening scenes of Working for Labour, the latest documentary by award-winning director Niek Koppen. Following in the tradition of films like Pennebaker’s ‘The War Room’ the film tells the inside story of the election campaign of the PvdA (The Dutch Labour Party). Koppen and his team filmed from the moment well-known pop photographer Anton Corbijn took the first publicity photographs of Kok until the evening of the elections on 6th May 1998. The film gives the inside-story of a political campaign, a story never filmed before in The Netherlands. The team was given unrestricted access to the most intimate discussions and activities at the highest political level.

Working for Labour is not a political film, but a film about people in politics: their emotions, their ambitions, their tactical deliberations and about the high- and low-points of a long and tiring campaign.


Original title: De Keuken van Kok



Opening film of IDFA 1998

Credits: Photography Peter Brugman / Sound Otto Horsch / Editor Erik Disselhoff / Composer Willem Breuker

A Ryninks Films production in co-production with NPS Television.

Made with the participation of: The Dutch Film Fund, The CoBO Fund, The Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Promotion Fund.

Sales Agent: Netherlands Public Broadcasting

Versions: Dutch with English subtitles, colour, 120 minutes.

Copyright: Ryninks Holding BV/NPS 1998




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