Illiterate provides a striking picture of the limited world of Anneke, a young woman who can hardly read. Bravely and brimming with emotions she tackles the task of learning to read and write. An irreversible sense of pride and liberation takes over and she can embark on a new future.
Anneke (29) had difficultly keeping up at school. After playing truant a lot, she left school prematurely. Since then she has wrestled with her low level of literacy: her reading, writing and arithmetic are way below par. Anneke earns her living in a local supermarket. Her boss Thea is demanding and interferes with all her simple tasks. At the same time, she encourages her to go back to school, to evening classes. Bravely and brimming with emotions Anneke tackles the task of learning to read and write. She was faced with many dictations, lots of homework and practical work. The safe surroundings of the classroom with her fellows and the teacher Willemijn make sure she perseveres. With the aid of her job coach, Anneke successfully applies for a job at a large supermarket. For the first time in her life she writes a letter resigning from the old job all on her own; after letting her friend Abduhl correct it, she hands it to Thea with mixed feelings of pride and sadness.
Once she starts her new job, Anneke has to live up to all kinds of targets. Simultaneously cleaning, filling shelves and manning the check-out is hard for her. At the same time, Anneke has to clear her debts: her ex-boyfriend spent all their money on drugs. Once she is finally free of debt, her new future can finally start. She dreams of one day getting a driving licence, so that she can start a courier service. And in a way she would also love to have children. “But in another way I don’t think I do, because my level is so low and I don’t want to make my children function in society, because that’s hard”, she argues.