NETHERLANDS – 2013 – 113 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN DUTCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
A FILM BY ALEX VAN WARMERDAM

Modern day Europe: A priest and his companion hunt silently through the fields, accompanied by a braying dog. They are armed and deadly. Their quarry is Camiel Borgman, living in military sparseness in an underground den, near companions Ludwig and Pascal. Camiel scrapes out with some difficulty, hitching a ride with a doomed truck driver on a relentless trip to the heart of suburbia. 

He passes by two odd women, Brenda and Ilonka, with whom he seems to share a history. When a dirty Camiel arrives at the door of artist Marina and media executive Richard’s expansive, designer-chic home, the shifting perceptions of Van Warmerdam’s screenplay begin to displace and disorient the audience. Hallucinogenic elements dot the consciousness as Camiel shifts between the roles of victim and aggressor. He asks for a bath. He toys with Richard’s jealousy. He is viciously beaten up by his cruelly intolerant host and left wounded on the floor. 

Marina seeks to assuage her guilt by allowing him a space for the night. She treats his wounds. She makes him some food. She begins to deceive her husband. And Camiel Borgman insistently starts to install himself in the house as his dark advances ebb and flow, push and pull. Marina is self-obsessed; Richard a casual racist; they employ a nanny Magot to look after their three small children, the youngest of whom, Isolde, sees Camiel early on and is responsive to his presence. “There is something that surrounds us,” says Marina, fearfully, but she is no longer in control. 

Large dogs roam casually through the house. There are flashes of something sinister in the garden as Camiel waits, and watches. Soon he is inhabiting Marina’s dreams. “Couldn’t you come back in another capacity?,” she asks him. “I could,” he says, “...but it will have consequences.”

 

“BORGMAN is an original and grim (not Grimm) fairy tale that’s as darkly comical as it is bizarrely sinister.”
THE TORONTO STAR

"BORGMAN is a perfectly crafted but airless allegory of contemporary European class warfare…”
THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“Van Warmerdam uses the elusive Borgman (creepily embodied by the nimble Jan Bijvoet) as the catalyst in his allegorical indictment of the Dutch ruling class.”
- NOW MAGAZINE

"Van Warmerdam highlights the potential chaos that a confined, comfortable, suburban life can hold."
EXCLAIM!

"BORGMAN is a demented fairy tale. While you may not understand everything, it’s a completely engrossing experience from start to finish, continuing to work on you for days after.”
TORONTO FILM SCENE

“...an interesting twist on the home invasion thriller…"
SEAN KELLY ON MOVIES

"BORGMAN, a Rumpelstilskin of a tale"
THE NATIONAL POST

"...security is an illusion"
THE GLOBE AND MAIL

"Deftly moving from cutting-edge black humour to blatant evil"
NOW MAGAZINE

" Think Lynch meets Haneke in an absurdist flick that maintains its state of dread without fully tipping its hand. There’s humour, too, as twisted as a graveyard chuckle."
THE TORONTO STAR

“… wonderfully creepy.”
- THE NATIONAL POST

"BORGMAN is a film that operates on a higher psychological level than your average horror film..."
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