Pak Mokum Terug is the name of a group of Amsterdam activists that refuse to accept that the basic right to housing no longer appears to apply. The group’s name means “Take Back Amsterdam,” Mokum being the traditional nickname for a capital city in which today, for more and more people, a home is becoming unaffordable. Against this background, Hotel Mokum reports on the squatting of a dilapidated hotel in the city center, narrated in the voice of a fictitious activist.
We follow the events through mobile phone, archive and fictional footage. The squatters turn the derelict hotel into a vibrant living and working community, creating not only living spaces, but also studios and places for meetings and neighborhood parties. To mark their first month in the building, they hold a cheerful celebration. But less than two weeks later, their hopes are dashed when a judge orders their eviction, and the riot police arrive to throw them out.
The struggle continues, however, as we see at the end of the film, when another building is squatted. “You can evict us from a building,” says the narrator defiantly, “but you’ll never evict our ideals.”