DVD - 2003 | Dutch; Flemish
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Dreverhaven is dead. The city's most feared bailiff, the curse of the poor, the agent of law without compassion--discovered with a knife through his heart. A self-taught lawyer who just passed his exams was the last person to see Dreverhaven alive. Now, the police want to know why he visited the old man, and the young barrister is ready to tell the story of a lifetime.


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Aug 23, 2016

Director Mike van Diem’s tense drama, set in early 1900’s Rotterdam, plunges its audience into one angry young man’s Oedipal rage and does so with gusto. Dreverhaven (brilliantly played by Jan Decleir) seems a force of nature, residing in a top floor office and coming forth only to dispense cruel justice like an Old Testament Jehovah. Hating him, yet perversely seeking his approval, Jacob thrusts and parries with the old man—his youthful passions mirrored by Dreverhaven’s icy contempt—while incomplete mother figures loom in the background whether it be his birth mother's cold indifference or the troubling sexual temptations introduced by an office secretary. Explosive performances all around plus a kinetic energy reminiscent of a Wes Anderson production (only more focused). Unfortunately Diem’s attention to the smallest of details, while admirable, does cause the action to drag out in too many places while the central point is driven home with more force than it needed. Still an engaging piece of cinema which definitely earned its Foreign Language Oscar.

Jul 27, 2016

Oh yes, I liked this twister tale despite the subtitles. Rather Dickensian.

Jun 29, 2016

This is a 1997 Dutch-Belgian film directed by Mike van Diem, based on the best-selling novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk.
In the Netherlands of the 1920s, Dreverhaven, a dreaded bailiff, is found dead with a knife sticking out of his stomach.
The obvious suspect is Jacob Willem Katadreuffe, an ambitious young lawyer who worked his way up from poverty.
Jacob has always managed to overcome Dreverhaven's personal attacks and he was seen leaving Dreverhaven's office on the afternoon of the murder.
The police arrests him and takes him to the police headquarters, where Jacob reflects back on the story of his long relationship with Dreverhaven, who, police learn, is also Katadreuffe's father.
I'm sure that you've never heard of this kind of story.
It is an emotional powerhouse of a heartbreaking tragedy that portrays a timeless struggle between father and son.
Sigmund Freud might have loved this movie to the hilt!
Superbly set in Rotterdam of the 1920s, this visually stunning film delivers you deep into the heart of the unconscious world.

Sep 15, 2014

Highly intense and dark movie. I disliked how ghost-like the female karakters ((to use a term)) were. The story also seemed bizarre and the relationship between his mother and his real father did not make sense.

Aside from that if you like violent entertainment and to see strong male characters you will not be disappointed.

Oh - just my thing but I hate stories which are told backwards also.

Jun 08, 2011

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Dec 04, 2014

EmmaGoldberg thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 06, 2014

BloomFree thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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