It’s not hard to criticize Dutch cinema—just use the Dutch themselves as examples. The Dutch people seem to be their own worst critics; in fact, it seems as though their movies have become a running joke, all: Well, what did you expect? or It was pretty good for a Dutch movie. Rather baffling considering directors like Paul Verhoeven and Alex van Warmerdam have reached international acclaim with The Fourth Man or Borgman respectively. So why is it that the people of Holland are so critical of their own films? Perhaps it’s because, like many other countries, the Netherlands have become spoiled by big, flashy Hollywood movies with lots of action and explosions; or perhaps they feel like they’re still becoming comfortable with the medium. Let’s look through our picks for the best 40 films from the Netherlands to figure out why.
40. Het wonderlijke leven van Willem Parel (The Wonderful Life of Willem Parel) (1955)
Director: Gerard Rutten
Wim Sonneveld became known in the 1940s and ’50s when he established himself as a brilliant actor, singer and cabaretist. After seeing a production of My Fair Lady in the U.S., he was adamant about introducing the musical to a Dutch audience and had it translated by Seth Gaaikema. It premiered in Rotterdam in 1960 with Wim in the role of Professor Higgins. Although his part in My Fair Lady was hugely successful, Dutch audiences will always remember him for his character, Willem Parel, the son of an organ player, who often spoke in general about playing the organ as much as he talked specifically about playing an organ in a sexual sense. Even though his fans loved the character of Willem Parel, Sonneveld started to hate his own creation, taking the chance to get rid of the character once and for all: In 1955 Gerard Rutten gave Sonneveld a break from his alter-ego when, in his film, had Parel step out of a promotional poster and embrace a life of his own.
39. Dorp aan de rivier (The Village on the River) (1958)
Director: Fons Rademakers
Based on the book by Anton Coolen, Dorp aan de Rivier tells the story of village doctor Tjerk van Taeke (Max Croiset), a local professional who genuinely cares about his patients and places more importance in their well-being than in their money. His methods aren’t always orthodox, but his results usually speak for themselves: He has saved the lives of many and is especially renowned for his skill in delivering babies. Meanwhile, Dr. Van Taeke’s village bears a kind of mysticism, everything somehow leading back to the river Maas, the cursed mills of the village, and a northern pike that always seems to appear during cucumber season. Such superstitions of course clash with the doctor’s forward-thinking practices, especially when a patient meets a tragic fate.
This was Fons Rademakers’ first feature length film, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foregin Language Film and achieving infamy for a certain scene involving the village night-guard.
38. Het meisje met het roode haar (The Girl with the Red Hair) (1981)
Director: Ben Verbong
Set in Amsterdam during World War II, Het meisje met het roode haar tells the story of Hannie (Renée Soutendijk), a law student about to take her matriculation exam when she decides instead to join a resistance movement. At first, due to her lack of experience, she is not taken seriously by the other members of the movement, and when she is asked to prove her dedication to the group by murdering someone, she chickens out. Aware of her weakness, the group assigns her to work as a messenger. It’s not until she witnesses the murder of a boy that she decides she wants to be directly involved in the action and finds a mentor in Hugo (Peter Tuinman). Though she proves she has what it takes to become a respected member of the resistance movement, a mission goes terribly wrong, and Hannie and Hugo are forced into hiding. From there, the entire country is in search of Hannie, the girl with the red hair.
Based on the biography of Jannetje Johanna “Hannie” Schaft, written by Theun de Vries, the film premiered at the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival. It helped boost her notoriety and, following her death, Hannie was awarded the Verzetkruis (the Dutch Cross of Resistance) and the Medal of Freedom for her fight against the Nazis during WWII.
37. Mira (1971)
Director: Fons Rademakers (1971)
Mira is based on Stijn Streuvels’ book De teleurgang van den Waterhoek (Den Waterhoek’s Downfall), and describes how the small, isolated town of Waterhoek finally joined the modern world thanks to a bridge connecting them to neighboring villages. It’s a pretty standard love story, in which farmer girl Mira (Willeke van Ammelroy) is torn between two love interests, Lander (Jan Decleir) and Maurice (Luc Ponette).
Moreso, as a fascinating exploration of people’s fear of change, their wariness of the unknown and their fight against all things new, the film is perhaps best known as a cinematic bridge for Dutch filmmaking into the rest of the world. As one of the first relatively mainstream Dutch movie to feature nude scenes, this film marked an important new era in Dutch film history. This caused a lot of palaver—as well as a lot of people to see the film—and, following Mira, Dutch films of the ’70s became well-known for their sex and nudity. According to iconic Dutch director Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Basic Instinct), Mira helped international audiences understand that Dutch films were also capable of “artistic depth.”
36. Terug naar de Kust (Back to the Coast) (2009)
Director: Will Koopman
Linda de Mol is a Dutch actress typically known for chick-flicks like Gooische Vrouwen (the Dutch Sex and the City, if you will; see #33) and Ellis in Glamourland, so to see her in a psychological thriller was more than surprising, it was refreshing. In Terug naar de Kust, the actress slips into the skin of Maria, a mother of two who, upon discovering she’s pregnant, decides to abort the baby against the wishes of her partner. But not long after the procedure, Maria is tortured by threatening letters, disturbing phone calls and even a dead rat in the mail. Shaken, she leaves her Amsterdam home to stay with her sister Ans (Ariana Schluter), who still lives in their old family home near the coast. Of course, the anonymous stalker has traced her back to her sister’s home, continuing the mind games, while Maria fears her ex-husband Martin (Jaap Spijkers), who disappeared off of the face of the earth, might have something to do with it.
Based on the book by Saskia Noort, which does better that the movie in terms of creating a suspenseful atmosphere, Terug naar de Kust is worthwhile if only for Linda de Mol’s atypical performance.
35. De lift (The Elevator) (1983)
Director: Dick Maas
If elevators make you feel claustrophobic—if something inside you keeps nagging, Take the stairs, take the stairs, for God’s sake, take the stairs—you probably won’t enjoy the horror flick De lift. Made in just 32 days on a budget of 750,000 Guilders, it was the first Dutch movie to nab a worldwide release.
As you may have gathered by now, the film finds four people who, following a lightning storm, become trapped in an elevator which seems to have taken on a murderous life of its own. First it becomes apparent that the air ventilation has been shut off, causing the group to almost suffocate. As it turns out, the elevator is only just getting started, and as the accidents became more and more brutal and severe, the elevator mechanic called in to help, Felix (Huub Stapel) is so baffled by the elevator’s behavior, he tries to investigate the fabricant of the elevator’s microprocessor, Rising Sun, with the help of journalist Mieke de Beer (Willeke van Ammelroy), eventually uncovering the real mystery behind the elevator’s crazy tendencies.
The making of De lift wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the elevator manufacturer Schindler Liften. The company provided the set with two elevator mechanics that helped realize Dick Maas’s horrible vision on a daily basis.
34. De aanslag (The Assault) (1986)
Director: Fons Rademakers
January 1945. World War II is slowly drawing to a close but the Netherlands are still under Nazi occupation. In Haarlem, the family Steenwijk is at home playing a game of “Mensch ärgere dich nicht”:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensch_%C3%A4rgere_dich_nicht. The youngest of the family, Anton (Derek de Lint), is about to roll the dice when they hear the sound of gunfire. Turns out, Nazi collaborator Fake Ploeg (Huub van der Lubbe) has been murdered, his body left right in front of the Steenwijk’s house, which, in not time, is stormed by the Nazis, who suspect them of having killed Fake Ploeg. Though Anton’s whole family is executed, and their house burned down, Anton is taken to prison, where he meets the mysterious Truus Coster (Monique van de Ven), who tries to console him:
Based on the book by Harry Mulisch, De aanslag mercilessly depicts the scars and war can leave on a young mind. No matter how hard he tries, Anton cannot shake the events of that fateful night, haunted forever by images of fire and the sound of rolling dice. Worth noting: The plot isn’t based on any historical assault in particular, but rather a combination of several stories, including that of the liquidation of police agent Fake Krist, as well as that of W.M Ragut, a passionately hated resistor who was shot off of his bike by the aforementioned Hannie Schaft (see #38).
33. Gooische Vrouwen (Vipers Nest) (2011)
Director: Will Koopman
Following the success of the TV series Gooische Vrouwen, creator Linda de Mol turned to Will Koopman to direct the film version. The series, often likened to Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City, follows the lives of four women living in Het Gooi, where all the hip and happening tastemakers reside. In the film, we revisit our protagonists as they go through their decadent-yet-chaotic everyday lives. There’s Cheryl (Linda de Mol), whose husband Martin (Paul Morero) is a popular Dutch singer who can’t say no to other women, admitting to his dick having a mind of its own. Claire (Tjitske Reidinga), besotted with her grandson, is shocked to find out that her daughter Merel (Mea de Jong) has decided to move her family to Burkina Faso, and she can’t imagine life without them. The free-spirited Anouk (Susan Visser) finds a new admirer in a fellow artist but keeps him at a distance out of respect to her daughter Vlinder (Lisa Bouwman), with whom her relationship is already strained. Meanwhile, the naïve and eccentric Roelien (Lies Visschedijk) has decided to become a spokesperson for environmental issue and chains herself to an old tree that is supposed to be cut down. So, when things get to be too much for the women in Het Gooi, they pack up and drive to Paris (in a conspicuously colorful hippie van), where they hope to ditch their material lives and find inner peace by following a spiritual course.
32. Abel (1986)
Director: Alex van Warmerdam
Abel (Alex van Warmerdam) is a strange, 31-year old boy who still lives with his parents. He hasn’t left the house in ten years and his hobbies involve spending his days spying on his neighbors and trying to cut flies mid-air with a huge pair of scissors. His mother Duif (Olga Zuiderhoek) coddles Abel whereas his bitter old father Victor (Henri Garcin) is tired of his antics and wants him out of the house. Abel constantly turns his parents against each other—though, it really doesn’t take much to start them quarrelling as their marriage is not a happy one. Yet, after Abel crosses his father one too many times, Victor kicks his son out of the house. On the streets, Abel meets the peepshow-performer Zus (Annet Malherbe), who takes him in; he knows she is seeing a married man but that doesn’t stop him from developing feelings for her. But how will he feel when he finds out the man Zus is seeing is in fact his own father?
In addition to serving as a starring vehicle, Abel was Alex van Warmerdam’s directorial debut. Initially, he’d hoped Frans Weisz would direct—preferably in black and white—but due to the personal nature of the story, van Warmerdam finally took up the reins himself. Which was a good idea: Abel went on to win the Golden Calf (Netherlands Film Festival) award for Best Film and Best Director.
31. De Noorderlingen (The Northerners) (1992)
Director: Alex van Warmerdam
Alex van Warmerdam considers De Noorderlingen to be his best film. We can see why: De Noorderlingen is something of an epitome of van Warmerdam’s films, exploring the essence of conflicting personalities (especially within a family) and the resulting dysfunctional relationships in an absurdly light-hearted (yet crass, of course) manner. Set in the 1960s on a new housing estate consisting of one street and the bordering forest, the film follows the residents as, with little to do and only each other’s lives to keep them entertained, they occupy a surreal world driven by fantasy, lust and threats. Butcher Jacob (Jack Wouterse) has a wild sex drive and will go to extremes to satisfy his needs. His wife Martha (Annet Malherbe) falls further and further into depression, finding solace in religion, even going on a hunger strike, which encourages women in the street to stop by Martha’s window to pray as if the woman were a prophet. Meanwhile, Jacob and Martha’s son Thomas (Leonard Lucieer) lives in his own fantasy world assembled from news articles revolving around the liberation of Belgian Congo. Thomas is aware of a world outside of the estate—everyone else seems to think the world ends at the edge of the forest.
As far as accolades go, De Noorderlingen won the 1992 Felix Award for the Best Young European Film of the Year, while art director Rikke Jelier won a Felix prize for Best Production Designer of the Year and Alex van Warmerdam’s brother Vincent took home Best European Film Composer of the Year.
30. Zusje (Little Sister) (1995)
Director: Robert Jan Westdijk
Daantje (Kim van Kooten) is a young student in Amsterdam whose older brother Martijn (performed by Romijn Conen, voiced by Hugo Metsers III) shows up on her doorstep one day to announce he is going to shoot a documentary about her. She’s not really sure what to make of it, but she humors him anyway, though the audience senses a kind of tension and strange vibe between the two.
Filming with a hand-cam, Robert Jan Westdijk styles Zusje like a home movie, allowing the audience to connect with the characters intimately—which of course becomes too intimate for Daantje when Martijn insists on filming the inner details of her romantic relationship with Ramon (Roeland Fernhout). The story between brother and sister runs deep: Martijn is literally trying to take control of her life in an attempt to overcome an incident with Daantje in the past.
Well loved, Zusje won eight international film prizes, including a Golden Calf and the main prize (Golden Tulip) at the International Istanbul Film Festival in 1996.
29. Karakter (Character) (1997)
Director: Mike van Diem
Jacob Willem Katadreuffe (Fedja van Huêt) doesn’t have it easy growing up. Born to Jacoba “Joba” Katadreuffe (Betty Schuurman) out of wedlock, he’s incessantly bullied by his classmates for being the bastard child of a woman everyone considered a whore. The result of a one-night stand between Joba and Arend Barend Dreverhaven (Jan Decleir), Jacob does not know who his father is, though Dreverhaven proposed marriage and offered Joba money before she decided to leave town. When the constant bullying and gossip gets too much for mother and son, she again moves, an escape (and a strange relationship with his mother) which over time begins to overwhelm Jacob. To avoid his mother, Jacob takes out a loan to buy a cigar shop, the first move in a plan to crawl his way up from poverty, a plan that leads to a number of financially dubious situations for Jacob—as well as back, unbeknownst to him, to his biological father.
The film is an adaptation of Ferdinand Bordewijk’s 1938 novel of the same name. Bordewijk, who was a junior partner at a law-firm in Rotterdam before opening his own practice in Schiedam in 1919, used many of his experiences as a lawyer as inspiration for his fiction. Like Jacob’s aspirations, Karakter went through many versions before this, first published as a series in the magazine De Gids before becoming a novel, and then adapted for screen in the form of a TV miniseries starring Ko Van Dijk as Dreverhaven and Lex van Delden as Katadreuffe. This Karakter, directed by Mike van Diem, won several prizes, including the 1998 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
28. Wilde Mossels (Wild Mussels) (2000)
Director: Erik de Bruyn
Erik de Bruyn referred to Wilde Mossels as aardappelwestern—a “potato western”—which takes a look at the lives of three young guys stuck in the platteland (countryside) of Zeeland, where shit all ever happens—unless you make it happen. Meet Leen (Fedja van Huêt), a young guy with a wild mane and big dreams who fancies himself to be the next Evil Knievel. He whiles away his days with his friends Daan (Frank Lammers) and Jacob (Frederik Boom), riding their motorcycles (or in Jacob’s case, a scooter), chasing girls, drinking beer and shooting old cans. They all long for excitement, to escape their lives in the countryside, to turn out differently from those they grew up around. When Leen meets an Irish person and becomes enamored with his new goal—to build a life for himself in Ireland—his friends perfectly sum up the attitude that keeps people from ever embracing change: “Je hebt alles toch hier, wat wil je nog meer?” (“You’ve got everything here, what more do you want?”)
Like Dazed and Confused meets Quadrophenia, but with a strong, authentic “Zeeland” feel, Wilde Mossels is a film purposely without any major aesthetic beauty, instead focused on bathing its events in the unattractive haze typical of the Dutch farmlands.
27. Van God Los (Godforsaken) (2003)
Director: Pieter Kuijpers
Between 1993 and 1994, a series of murders took place in the region of Limburg, known most famously as the carnavalsmoorden (carnival murders). The men responsible, called the Bende van Venlo (Gang from Venlo), regularly made headlines with robberies, break-ins and charges for drug dealing. In the film Van God Los, we glimpse the origins of the ruthless gang, and thus the tide of crime that captivated the Dutch people for so many years.
Stan (Egbert Jan Weeber) is a young student who has no real friends, plus he can’t seem to get over the fact that he was abandoned by his father. One day he meets Maikel (Tygo Gernandt), who is on the run from the police with some stolen loot. When Maikel hides the goods in Stan’s bag before the police bring him in, the authorities have no choice but to release the thief, allowing Maikel to meet up again with Stan and form a close bond, becoming partners in crime. Their quests become more and more violent until finally they spiral out of control, costing many innocent people their lives.
In 1997, 18 men between the ages of 14 and 56 were arrested in relation to the Bende van Venlo. This included Freenkie Peeters and Sanny Peters, on whom Maikel and Stan were based.
26. De Tweeling (Twin Sisters) (2002)
Director: Ben Sombogaart
Twin sisters Anna and Lotte are inseparable: They play together, wear the same clothes and sleep in the same bed. Yet, following the death of their parents, the girls are abruptly separated, Anna staying in Germany to become a laborer while Lotte is taken to Holland, where she grows up with a family who can offer her everything. For a long time they write letters to each other, but due to the ensuing war, the letters never arrive.
As adults, Anna (Nadja Uhl) finds herself infatuated with an SS officer, Martin (Roman Knizka), to the dismay of her stepfather, but she ends up marrying the soldier anyway. On the contrary, Lotte’s (Thekla Reuten) partner David (Jeroen Spitzenberger) is taken to Auschwitz shortly after their engagement, never to return. When the twins finally see each other for the first time in years—when Lotte visits Anna in Germany as World War II begins—Lotte, who has not yet experienced the politics of war, is shocked by Anna’s surroundings, finding it hard to accept the only life Anna has ever known and seemingly convinced that here sister has adopted the Nazi philosophies responsible for David’s death. What will happen when they meet again, 50 years later? Get a box of tissues ready.
Based on the novel by Tessa de Loo, the film won the Golden Calf for Best Long Feature Film and was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2004.
25. Cloaca (2003)
Director: Willem van de Bakhuyzen
What started out as a vacation job archiving paintings for his local municipality turned into a 22-year gig for Pieter (Pierre Bokma). His colleagues don’t show any interest in him at all, so, to make himself feel better about his shitty work life, he has established a special birthday ritual: Every year he takes a painting from the municipality’s depot. As Cloaca begins, Pieter is in possession of at least eight Van Goppel paintings, which have just shot up in value due to the painter’s recent death.
When his boss takes him out to dinner, Pieter thinks it might be the man’s way of making up for his lack of interest in Pieter and his work—but as it turns out, his boss found out about Pieter’s birthday ritual and is now asking for the paintings back or, at least, the Van Goppel pieces. Thing is, Pieter used four of them to pay off his apartment, which is when he calls in the help of his old college friends Joep (Gijs Scholten van Aschat), a politician who was just left by his wife; Tom (Peter Blok), a former lawyer who lost the plot thanks to a severe cocaine habit; and Maarten (Jaap Spijkers), a theater director who can best be described as a viezerik (slob/pervert). Also; Joep’s 18-year-old daughter Laura (Caro Lenssen) has a nude part in Maarten’s play; needless to say Joep is not impressed. Imagine how he’ll feel when he finds out Maarten is having sex with her too.
Cloaca was first staged as a play, directed and written by Maria Goos. Whereas the play has a lot of comic elements that bring some levity to its often somber and pathetic atmosphere, the film seems to have exaggerated the story’s characters’ flaws, and with it the hopeless feel of Pieter’s situation. Dissecting the strong relationship college friends are still able to maintain so many years after they graduate, Cloaca is pessimistic about what that unchanging bond means for these men so many years later—when, as adults, the friends still greet each other with “Cloaca,” the Latin word for “sewer” or the anatomical term for the orifice leading to the intestinal and urinal tract of birds, fish and reptiles. In other words, all these years later, they’re still assholes.
24. Zwartboek (Black Book) (2006)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
When Paul Verhoeven returned to his Dutch roots after years in Hollywood working on films like Total Recall (1990) and Basic Instinct (1992), it only seemed natural for him to revisit a theme that has become typical of Dutch cinema: World War II. Having already explored this era in Keetje Tippel (see #14) and Soldaat van Oranje (1977), you would think his inspirations on the topic would have run dry, but, although Zwartboek is set in World War II, it doesn’t necessarily focus on the type of imagery we usually associate with war films, and especially with World War II. Rather, the film can be viewed more as an adventure story told from the perspective of a Dutch resistance fighter.
Following the tragic murder of her family and several other families in her refugee party, Rachel Stein (Carice van Houten) changes her name to Ellis de Vries, dyes her hair—all of her hair—blonde, and adopts a new persona in an attempt to gather information from the Nazis. This leads her to an unexpected love affair with Hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze (Sebastian Koch) and a friendship with Ronnie (Halina Reijn), a Dutch colleague who bonds with the Germans through sex and seduction. Through Rachel’s experiences, we begin to understand the war not as a measure of incomprehensible cost for the human race, but as a personal story of malleable morals and deeply individual sacrifice.
The story was written in collaboration with Gerard Soeteman, with whom Paul Verhoeven had previously worked with on Soldaat van Oranje and Turkish Delight (1973). Verhoeven described the feeling of his film as one that would never fit within the American film system:
23. Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (Stricken) (2009)
Director: Reinout Oerlemans
With Reinout Oerlemans’ Komt een vrouw bij de dokter (literal translation: “a woman goes to the doctor”), prepare yourself for a deeply emotional rollercoaster. Stijn (Barry Atsma) is a rich advertising executive who, as one might expect, is an arrogant lothario. He is married to Carmen (Carice van Houten), with whom he shares a loving, exciting relationship, as well as a lot of freedom: Carmen knows of his infidelities but seems to live with them, proffering a “that’s just how he is” kind of attitude. Yet, when Carmen is diagnosed with breast cancer, their relationship is put to the test. Although Stijn supports his partner, he still has a hard enough time getting used to the change in her that he feels life as they know it slipping away. So, he finds comfort in the arms of Roos (Anna Drijver), beginning a wild affair—that is, until Carmen goes into remission.
Although the film was described as an “Ode to Love,” various critics disagreed, instead declaring the film to be an “Ode to Adultery.” Either way, Carice van Houten, Barry Atsma and Anna Drijver deliver outstanding work in their respective roles.
22. Bloed, Zweet en Tranen (Blood, Sweat and Tears) (2015)
Director: Diederick Koopal
September 23, 2004 marked a sad day for the Netherlands: The whole country was in mourning as they said goodbye to the folk singer André Hazes, the man who provided the soundtrack to many lives from the mid-’70s through the early 2000s. Andreas Gerardus Hazes was first discovered by Jonny Kraaykamp when he was singing, only eight years old, at the Albert Cuypmarkt in Amsterdam. Though Kraaykamp got him onto the TV show AVRO’s Weekendshow and enabled him to release the single “Droomschip” (“Dream Ship”), his career as a child star didn’t quite take off. But later, Hazes’ singing talents were rediscovered when Willy Aberti caught him singing at the café De Krommerdt, where he worked as a barkeeper. By 1980, he was signed to the label EMI, where he released several hit singles and finally reached a public audience.
As is usually the case, Hazes was not only famous for his incredible pipes, he was also known to be constantly chain-smoking and getting by on a diet of beer (preferably Heineken). In 2004, no longer able to hear himself speak, Hazes was diagnosed with tinnitus. On September 21, he was taken to hospital with a high fever. Two days later he died of a heart attack.
On September 27, 48,000 people gathered in the Amsterdam ArenA for a goodbye concert dedicated to André Hazes. Renowned Dutch artists such as Trijntje Oosterhuis, Guus Meeuwis and Paul de Leeuw performed some of Hazes’ most famous songs. The ceremony ended with his coffin being carried through the Amsterdam ArenA. A year later, some of his ashes were sent into the skies care of fireworks.
Bloed, Zweet en Tranen tells this story, that of André Hazes’ life and career, with the incredibly talented Martijn Fischer in the starring role.
21. Infiltrant (Infiltrator) (2014)
Director: Sharrif Korver
Culture clashes are reoccurring themes in Dutch cinema. It’s a common concept in Dutch comedy, but it of course can be mined for a crime drama.
Infiltrant tells the story of Sam (Nasrdin Dchar), a police officer working in the Netherlands who descends from a Dutch mother and Moroccan father. Whilst dealing with a case of domestic violence, Sam assaults a man known to abuse his wife, causing Sam’s superiors to suspend him from the force. With no other options, he returns to his former life as a real estate agent, and there meets Abdel (Walid Benmbarek) and Bourhim (Rachid El Ghazaoui), Moroccan drug dealers in need of a short term rental space—only they don’t know him as Sam but as Said. In order to bring down the notorious Moroccan drug gang, the police offers Sam one last chance, under one condition: He must go undercover and infiltrate the gang. Sam soon finds himself torn between the loyalty towards his new-found Moroccan “brothers” and his commitment to the Dutch police.
The film was received well by the Toronto International Film Festival and the Netherlands Film Festival, both of which had high praise for Nasrdin Dchar, Walid Benmbarek and Rachid El Ghazaoui, better known as rapper Appa, who was also in charge of the film’s soundtrack.