Shabu

Director/Writer: Shamira Raphaëla. Produced by Tangerine Tree (NL), in co-production with Diplodokus (BE).

Funding Netherlands Film Fund: Full Circle Vertoningsregeling 2021.

Fourteen-year-old Shabu is a good-natured, creative, and street-smart boy from the south of Rotterdam. When he wrecks his grandmother’s car on a joyride, his whole family is angry with him. He has a summer to make amends before his grandmother returns from a vacation in Suriname.

His mother suggests he should sell popsicles to pay for the damage, but that would hardly get him very far. So he comes up with another solution which will allow him to combine moneymaking with his musical talent and the pleasures of a sultry summer. Will he succeed in making his family—and in particular his grandmother—proud of him again?

“I'm a little boy from Peperklip” is how Shabu describes himself, referring to the famous (and infamous) building in the south of Rotterdam where he grew up. The film’s vibrant story and playful editing accentuate the contradictions of teenage life: unpolished when life is tough, and buffed up when it needs to shine. A funny and touching film about a boy who looks bigger than he is, and about taking responsibility for your actions.