TAETSKE HELLINGA
A portrait
By Malcolm Hart



Taetske and first husband Bob Mayo


  Sometime in the 70s a friend brought Taetske to my house in Wales. Her close friend Ted had just died and she was still hurting. She'd cared for him while he was dying, her love for him leading her into a spiritual experience that changed her life.

We talked about going to America. I had a wedding to attend in Santa Fé and she had people to see in California so we decided to accompany each other. Our trip to America was the beginning of our long friendship.

Taetske was part of a generation of Dutch people who grew up dissatisfied with the status quo, the dishonesty in politics and social behaviour amply demonstrated in the film. Her revelations about her childhood sexual encounters with friends of her parents and her ensuing feelings of shame are common to many of us but rarely articulated.

The way she overcame her ’shame’, boldly facing up to it and openly demanding of her partner what she needed sexually is inspirational. It brings into the light the darkness that envelopes so many people's sexual life.


The film

Index