Ramses, oú est mon prince


At the beginning of the documentary, 69-year-old Ramses Shaffy is seen, obviously inebriated, staggering across his room to the piano. This unglamorous introduction is followed by black-and-white archive footage from the sixties, showing him and Liesbeth List singing to an enthusiastic crowd. This sets the tone of Pieter Fleury’s portrait of Shaffy, today and in the sixties. Back then, everybody was in love with the licentious bohemian, Joop Admiraal, Shaffy’s long-time partner, explains. Fleury also interviews List, Shireen Strooker and Louis van Dijk, members of a libertine company of which Shaffy was the enchanting centre. In archive footage, some of their greatest hits file past. Lack of money was never a problem, Shaffy’s alcohol abuse became one. In the end, the guru of unfettered life had to be admitted to a rest home.