Katie Tippel’s family have just arrived in Amsterdam without a penny to their name. Despite their lack of monetary success, Katie’s mother and father have produced a number of kids they can’t afford. The sole breadwinner of the family is Katie’s overweight and fairly disgusting sister who has realized her baby making machine can feed her stomach. Katie’s father (who eventually gets a job he loses) is pathetic to say the very least, and her mother seems to be willing to have her children do anything for a couple of pennies.
Katie demonstrates from the start of the film that she is a fighter and won’t let anyone get away with taking advantage of her. After being raped by her scrawny employer, she throws a brick through the window of the shop she once worked at. Against her own morals, Katie eventually takes up the undesirable career of a prostitute. She realizes early that men only end up taking advantage of her and she might as well get paid for it. One buyer even calls her most private area a “pretty little rose” and soon afterwards only gives her a couple cents due to her lack of experience. Rich people have always been cheap.
Katie’s overweight sister finds it only appropriate that she defecates in front of her parents while they eat dinner. In tribute to the dead art of reading, she wipes her hefty ass with a page that she tears out of a book. Earlier in the film, Katie’s sister also finds it funny to drop the families recently acquired puppy (that died in flooding of their shabby room) in the same toilet. Katie also finds her little brother prostituting himself to a dirty old rich man. When she tells her mother, she ignores what says. Katie has more than enough reason to abandon her pitiful family.
I have seen a variety of “success” films in America throughout my life as most American’s have. I find Katie Tippel to be preferable to those “American dream” propaganda pieces. Katie Tippel is full of artistic raunchiness which is something that I have always appreciated. The Dutch films of Paul Verhoeven are like the films Bernardo Bertolucci (although I am a fan of many of his films) except with more class and cohesion.