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Oscar Watch: Netherlands – Tirza, directed by Rudolph van den Berg

Oscar Watch: Netherlands - Tirza, directed by Rudolph van den Berg



Tirza is considered a huge success as an art house film in The Netherlands. It has over 175.000 admissions, is based on a very succesful book by a very succesful writer Arnon Grunberg and the director is very well known. Tastes differ in different parts of the world, and that’s also good. The academy members are not all against this film, some like it better then others but all of them agree it is an intriguing film and peole feel inclined to discuss it. That alone makes for a worthy film.

In light of today’s events in the U.S., as everyone points the finger at the right, I wonder how a film about our “happy complacent middle class” and their family relationships would look if it tried to show a drama concerning immigrants who touch our most intimate lives. We all share the guilt for the morass our societies are in. It is not merely the villianized right side of the political spectrum, it is we ourselves for not acting more decisively in whatever circumstance we live.

My personal take on it is that it is a film I prefer to forget. Such an ugly man, such a middle aged and middle class fantasy of a dirty old man who is a father to boot, married to a shrew, never saying no until his sense of entitlement and rage at being violated take its toll on everyone around him. This is a well made film which makes it all the more despicable. To me it is a film filled with self-loathing. Perhaps it is a problem facing the Dutch society and its frank picture could be called brave. I think about how one would depict the middle class American at its most intimate familial and problematic level in today’s society of violence. We blame political opponents and I wonder if there is an artist among us who would be so brave as to blame ourselves for our life styles hypothetically saying perhaps we too are contributing to society’s malaise rather than just pointing a finger at “those others” who are more violence prone in our society. We too take part in how our society acts by our keeping silent or just complaining among ourselves about “them”. Produced by San Fu Malta and Pierre Spengler.

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