A neo-romantic poet, Trefossa (Henri de Ziel, 1916–1975) wrote primarily about the beauty of his native country, and did so, famously, in Sranan, Suriname’s colloquial language that was considered “Negro-speak” and banned from schools’ curricula in favour of Dutch. In 1957, Trefossa published Trotji, a collection of 19 poems in an edition of just 100—a volume that proved influential to generations of Surinamese writers that followed, but he is perhaps best known for writing Sranan stanzas of Suriname’s national anthem in the mid-1940s. Through interviews with Trefossa’s colleagues, family, and former students, this intimate documentary creates a compelling picture of a somewhat enigmatic man, whose patriotism never ebbed, even after he moved to the Netherlands, where he married late in life.
Medium Length (55mins) , Biography, Drama | Netherlands, Suriname
Dutch, Sranan Tongo, English