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Sundance Kids: The Little Gangster
by Karen Pecota

Dutch filmmaker Arne Toonen uses the narrative from author Marjon Hoffman's novel De Boskamip's (The Little Gangster) for his latest family comedy, under the same name, The Little Gangster. Toonen's take on Hoffman's already comedic storyline is unimaginably hilarious. The clever screenplay by Lotte Tabbers is Toonen's encouragement to let his cast and crew to do what they do best: to develop an unforgettably entertaining morality tale. I laughed so much and with such intensity,  it shocked even me. I guarantee that after viewing the film you will smile and maybe giggle when you hear any reference to the Dutch production of The Little Gangster. It's a classic. Relatable and Fun!


The young grade-schooler, Rikkie Boskamp (Thor Braun) longs for a life where he’s not constantly bullied. The Boskamp household was never the same after the passing of Rikkie's mother. His dad, Paul (Henry van Loon), a nerdy accountant, feels lost without his beautiful life partner. Though he loves Rikkie and is happy to be able to care for the needs of the family with a good but boring job, he struggles to move forward emotionally. He is depressed and distracted. He is often bullied at work by the same family members who bully Rikkie at school. The Boskamp family is not among the cool people and suffer for it day after day.

Rikkie wants his dad to be cool so that he could be cool and free from being bullied. Paul allows Rikkie to view one of his favorite all time movies about Mafia dealings called "Son of Don". Rikkie is enamored by the control the film shows a Mafia Don (Boss) can acquire.

Paul comes home from work one day to announce to Rikkie that he was given a promotion that would require the two to move to a different town. Rikkie saw this as the ticket out of his hostile environment but saddened when Paul thought it best to decline the job. Rikkie pleaded with him to reconsider. While Paul was reconsidering, Rikkie decided to take matters into his own hands. He found the paper work Paul needed to fill-out for the acceptance, and did so in his dad's name.

Paul gets the job and the two move to the new town. While the meek and mild mannered Paul is diligently working his new job, Rikkie is busy fabricating a back story for their new life in the perfect 1950s era community. His first steps is to add an "i" to their last name ( Boskampi) making it sound Italian. Rikkie makes his way to never be in a position to be bullied again. His new role as a Mafia Boss's son is to control of his environment yet be kind and congenial especially to the underdogs in his new school. He has the whole town believing Paul is a Mafia Don in hiding and it best not to mess with him. This information is shocking, has everyone talking but everyone treats them with respect.

Paul is oblivious to their new backstory but is happy that the two are fitting in to the community well and enjoying a wonderful up-scale life due to his new job.

How long will Rikkie be able to control their fabricated life? Time will tell after the family who initially bullied both Rikkie and his father from their old community move to town. An attempt to blow the Boskampi's cover is followed by a string of a comedy of errors. Rikkie's resourcefulness is put to the test to make sure that bullies never prosper.