Young men from problematic or criminal backgrounds can find help in building a future at a center in Rotterdam called De Nieuwe Kans (Dutch for “the new chance”). Hardened by the past, these rebellious, quick-tempered men struggle to adapt to “normal society.” The camera follows Tayfun, Nabil and Delgano in close-up in an attempt to understand what’s going on inside their heads. They lack something, their supervisor says: the ability to see the people around them and themselves.
Their mentors need an inexhaustible supply of patience, empathy and perseverance. One of them, Toine, is now an art teacher, but spent 21 years in prison himself. Marina Meijer, winner of the Karen de Bok Talent Award in 2017, captures their compelling, fragmented dialogues in precisely framed shots, which they seem to want to break out of. This microcosm implicitly has a wider story to tell about youth inequality, and the unending efforts of caregivers to help young adults make different choices.