List of Dutch documentary films

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A Dutch documentary film is a documentary film made by a director of (partly) Dutch origin. Dutch documentary films are not necessarily bound to Dutch topics or locations in the Netherlands.


Before 1945[edit]

The first known Dutch documentary was made in 1916 by Johann Vierboom. The film Storm en noodweer in Nederland shows the 1916 flood disaster at the coasts of the Zuiderzee. An other documentary film of this era is Holland Neutraal: De leger- en vlootfilm (1917) by Willy Mullens. One of the most famous Dutch documentary film directors is Joris Ivens. Ivens started making his own films in 1928. The first was an avant-garde look at a Rotterdam bridge, The Bridge ([De brug, 1928). His later films were more realistic, socially concerned and polemical.[1] The Spanish Earth (1937) is one of his most famous films. In order to make internationally oriented documentaries, Ivens travelled to countries such as the Soviet Union, Spain, China, Australia and the United States.[2]


After the 2nd World war, films of the acclaimed documentary film directors Bert Haanstra[3] and Herman van der Horst[4] dominated Dutch cinema. Their work is internationally known as the ‘Dutch Documentary School’.[5] A feature of the documentary films of this era is the use of human beings as a metaphor.[6] Van der Horst and Haanstra both won prizes at the Cannes Film Festival.[7] [8] Van der Horst's most famous movie is Faja Lobbi (1960), while Haanstra gained international fame for his renowned documentary Alleman (The Human Dutch, 1963). Other directors of the Dutch Documentary School are Charles Huguenot van der Linden,[9] and John Fernhout.

After 1965[edit]

After the era of the Dutch Documentary School, Dutch documentaries lost their uniformity. Instead of forming a group, joining forces and sharing stylistic trademarks, filmmakers mostly worked on independent projects or projects for television networks. Contemporary documentary directors have produced a wide variety of works. Contemporary directors with international successes are Jos de Putter, Heddy Honigmann, Johan van der Keuken and Leonard Retel Helmrich. In the late 20th century, documentary films are mainly shown on Dutch television networks, although some cinemas and art houses show Dutch documentary films. Nowadays, internet provides worldwide access to Dutch documentary films displayed online.

Dutch organizations regarding documentary films[edit]

Dutch funds[edit]

  • The Netherlands Film Fund offers financial support to develop, actualize and distribute documentary film productions, designated for cinema.
  • Mediafonds offers subsidy for the development and production of, among other things, documentary films by public broadcasting.

Online broadcasting[edit]

  • Holland Doc 24 is a Dutch digital documentary channel. The channel is continuously broadcasting sections of multiple public broadcasting channels, including the programs VPRO’s Import, Zembla, Tegenlicht, NCRV Dokument, Profiel, Reporter and Het uur van de Wolf.[10]
  • The Docsonline Foundation is an independent, Dutch non-profit organization with a mission to support professional documentary makers financially by exposing their work on a wide international scale to a paying audience. The foundation organizes a documentary on-demand website which provides a collection of over 400 documentary films.[11]

Film festivals[edit]

The following Dutch film festivals are known to show (Dutch) documentary films:

List of Dutch documentary films[edit]

title director year
Are All Men Pedophiles? Jan-Willem Breure 2012
A philosopher for all seasons Benny Brunner 1991
Across the border Saskia Vredeveld 1999
Al nakba Benny Brunner 1997
Andre Hazes, Zij gelooft in mij John Appel 1999
Ave Maria Nouchka van Brakel 2006
Between heaven and hell Joost Seelen 2002
Birthplace Unknown Karin Junger 1988
Boys Menna Laura Meijer 2005
Bram Joost Verheij 1993
Broken Silence Eline Flipse 1996
Cannot run away Hillie Molenaar & Joop van Wijk 1988
Child of the commune Maroesja Perizonius 2004
Crossroads Hillie Molenaar & Joop van Wijk 1997
Dana Lixenberg, thru Dutch eyes Pieter van der Houwen 1999
Daughters of the Nile Hillie Molenaar & Joop van Wijk 1982
De brug Joris Ivens 1928
Deacon of Death Jan van den Berg 2004
Democracy's dilemma Ijsbrand van Veelen & Dorothee Forma 2007
Desi Maria Ramos 2000
Duende Ramon Gieling 1986
Dutch touch Ulrike Helmer 2006
Electronic curtain Walther Grotenhuis 1997
En passant Mirjam Boelsums & Lony Scharenborg 2003
Faja Lobbi Herman van der Horst 1960
Fatal reaction Bombay Marijke Jongbloed 1998
Fatal reaction Moscow Marijke Jongbloed 2000
Fatal reaction New York Marijke Jongbloed 1996
Fatal reaction Singapore Marijke Jongbloed 1996
Finding courage Joop van Wijk 2004
First Kill Coco Schrijber 2001
Fokking hell! Peter ter Velde, Eric Feijten & Hans Stakelbeek 2010
Food is waste Rob van Hattum 2007
Grito de piedra Ton van Zantvoort 2006
Hans: Het Leven Voor De Dood Louis van Gasteren 1983
Holland neutraal, de leger- en vlootfilm Willy Mullens 1917
In a white man's land Kim Landstra 2000
It is no dream Benny Brunner & Joseph Rochlitz 2002
Isingiro Hospital Hillie Molenaar & Joop van Wijk 1992
Juggernaut Rob Das 2003
Lockerbie Revisited Gideon Levy 2005
Lomax the Songhunter Rogier Kappers 2005
Grenzeloze Liefde - Made in Africa Puck de Leeuw 1999
Grenzeloze Liefde - Made in Japan Puck de Leeuw 1996
Lust for gold Joost Kraanen 1990
Made in China Eline Flipse 2005
Mama Calle Arjanne Laan 1990
Miss interpreted, Marlene Dumas Rudolf Everhuis & Joost Verheij 1997
My beloved country Saskia Vredeveld 1991
Nostalgia for death Ramon Gieling 1992
On the threshold of oblivion Tom Verheul 2003
Pool Mirjam Boelsums & Lony Scharenborg 1999
Prison blues Saskia Vredeveld 2002
Procedure 769, witness to an execution Jaap van Hoewijk 1995
Punk, forever Alfred de Boer 1996
Purple hearts VPRO 2004
Rex Gildo, the fall of a schmalz king Hans Heijnen 2003
Rock 'n roll junkie Eilander, v.d. Bosch, v.d. Lee & v.d. Sterre 1994
Romania, the taming of intellectuals Benny Brunner 1990
Rouch's gang Joost Verheij 1998
Sark, small world Joost Seelen 2002
Selfportrait, Roger Ballen Sasia Vredeveld 2002
Smile and wave Marijke Jongbloed 2003
Sport, a mental issue Lies Niezen 2000
Storm en noodweer in Nederland Johann Vierboom 1916
Sunny spells Ruud Monster 1987
Tabee toean Tom Verheul 1995
That paradise will be mine Merel Beernink 2005
The concrete curtain Benny Brunner 2005
The daily nation Hillie Molenaar & Joop van Wijk 2000
The factory Hillie Molenaar & Joop van Wijk 1981
The forgery Arjanne Laan 2001
The Human Dutch Bert Haanstra 1963
The making of a new empire Jos de Putter 1999
The new silver Alexandra Jansse 2005
The price of cotton Karin Junger 2005
The return Joost Verheij 1990
The seventh million Benny Brunner 1995
The Spanish Earth Joris Ivens 1937
The truth according to Wikipedia Ijsbrand van Veelen 2008
The tunnel and other lies Vuk Janic 2005
The wall Benny Brunner 2003
The war on drugs VPRO 2003
Treatment for traitors Ike Bertels 1983
Valley of sighs Carin Goeijers 2004
Velo negro Arjanne Laan 1996
Voices of Bam Aliona v.d. Horst & Maasja Ooms 2006
Water and fire Joost Seelen 1998
Year 1, Alan Reeve after thirty years of imprisonment Joost Seelen 1993

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Peter B. Flint (June 30, 1989). "Obituary Joris Ivens, 90, Dutch Documentary Film Maker". New York Times. 
  2. ^ "Dutch film history". Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  3. ^ Hans Schoots (2010). "Bert Haanstra, Filmer van Nederland". Balans, Amsterdam. ISBN 9460032567. 
  4. ^ "biography Herman van der Horst". Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  5. ^ Willem Ellenbroek (2004). "Bloei van de Hollandse School". Volkskrant. 
  6. ^ Bert Hogenkamp (2003). "De Documentaire Film 1945-1965. De bloei van een filmgenre in Nederland". 010, Amsterdam. ISBN 9064505233. 
  7. ^ "films of Bert Haanstra at the Cannes Film Festival". Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  8. ^ "films of Herman van der Horst at the Cannes Film Festival". Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  9. ^ "biography of Charles Huguenot van der Linden". Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  10. ^ "information about Dutch television channel Holland Doc". Holland Doc. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 
  11. ^ "information about Docsonline Foundation". Docsonline Foundation. Retrieved 2012-05-07. 

External links[edit]