Katia's Sister

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Katia's Sister
Film poster for Katia's Sister
Film poster
Het zusje van Katja
Directed byMijke de Jong
Screenplay byJan Eilander
Jolien Laarman
Based onLa hermana de Katia
by Andrés Barba
Produced byHans de Wolf
StarringBetty Qizmolli
Julia Seijkens
Olga Louzgina
CinematographyTon Peters
Edited byDorith Vinken
Music byLeo Anemaet
Running time
85 minutes
Box office$6,751[1]

Katia's Sister (Dutch: Het Zusje van Katia) is a 2008 film directed by Mijke de Jong. It was adapted by Jan Eilander and Jolien Laarman from a 2001 novel written by Andrés Barba. The film premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival and won two Golden Calf awards.


Lucia is a young woman living in Amsterdam. She idolises her beautiful older sister Katia, who is drifting towards the sex industry. Their mother is from Russia and works as a sex worker in the red-light district.


  • Betty Qizmolli as Lucia, Katia's sister
  • Julia Seijkens as Katia
  • Olga Louzgina as the mother of Lucia and Katia
  • Ian Bok as John Turner


The film was adapted by Jan Eilander and Jolien Laarman from the 2001 novel La hermana de Katia by Andrés Barba, moving the setting from Madrid to Amsterdam. It was the second in a trilogy of films directed by Mijke de Jong about young women becoming adults.[2] She commented that "all my films are about showing characters compassionately".[3]

It premiered on 25 September 2008 at the Stadsschouwburg in Utrecht during the Netherlands Film Festival.[4] At the festival, the film was nominated for six awards, winning the Golden Calf for Best Script and the Golden Calf for Best Supporting Actress.[5] It won the Silver Giraldillo, a prize worth 30,000 euros, at the Seville European Film Festival.[6][7] The film was also nominated for a Golden Leopard and won the Special Mention Award from the Youth Jury at the Locarno International Film Festival.[8]

The worldwide takings for the film were $6,751.[1]

Critical response[edit]

The response of Dutch films critics was mixed. NU.nl preferred the book to the film, whilst conceding that it is hard to film the world of the sex worker.[9] Volkskrant praised how de Jong depicted the complicated relationships between the two sisters and their mother.[10] De Filmkrant was impressed by the "sophisticated film-making" of de Jong and VPRO noted that what could have been a harrowing tale in the same way as Lilya 4-ever was instead a "sensitive and restrained" story.[11][2]

Internationally, The Hollywood Reporter praised the direction of de Jong and the acting of Qizmolli, calling the film an "observant snapshot" of a young woman's life.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Katia's Sister". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Het zusje van Katia - vpro cinema". VPRO (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 12 April 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Het zusje van Katia". LantarenVenster Rotterdam (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 April 2020. Al mijn films gaan over het met mededogen neerzetten van personages
  4. ^ "Het Zusje van Katia in première in Utrecht". Trouw (in Dutch). 17 July 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Gelijkspel bij uitreiking Gouden Kalveren". Parool (in Dutch). 4 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Spaanse filmprijs voor Het Zusje van Katia". Het Parool (in Dutch). 17 November 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Back Soon scoops Golden Giraldillo at Seville". Cineuropa - the best of european cinema. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Katia's Sister (Het Zusje Van Katia)". walkerart.org. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  9. ^ Nientied, André (1 October 2008). "Het Zusje van Katia – Mijke de Jong". NU (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  10. ^ Beekman, Bor (2 October 2008). "Het zusje van Katia". de Volkskrant (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 April 2020. De Jong is fijnzinniger in het registreren van de onderlinge relaties binnen het gezin.
  11. ^ Graveland, Mariska (October 2008). "Het zusje van Katia/Mijke de Jong - de Filmkrant net-versie van oktober 2008, nr 303". www.filmkrant.nl. No. 303. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  12. ^ Bennett, Ray (12 August 2008). "Katia's Sister". The Hollywood Reporter. AP. Retrieved 18 April 2020.

External links[edit]