Character (1997 film)

Character (1997 film)

German film poster of Character
Directed by Mike van Diem
Produced by Laurens Geels
Written by Ferdinand Bordewijk (novel)
Mike van Diem
Starring Jan Decleir
Fedja van Huêt
Victor Löw
Music by Paleis van Boem
Cinematography Rogier Stoffers
Editing by Jessica de Koning
Release date(s) Netherlands 17 April 1997
United States 27 March 1998
Canada 10 April 1998
United Kingdom 18 October 1998
Running time 122 minutes
Country Netherlands, Belgium
Language Dutch
Budget $4,500,000
Box office $713,413

Character (Dutch: Karakter) is a 1997 Dutch/Belgian film, based on the best-selling novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk and directed by Mike van Diem. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 70th Academy Awards. The film stars Fedja van Huêt, Jan Decleir, and Betty Schuurman.



In the Netherlands of the 1920s, Dreverhaven (Decleir), a dreaded bailiff, is found dead, with a knife sticking out of his stomach. The obvious suspect is Jacob Willem Katadreuffe (van Huêt), an ambitious young lawyer who worked his way up from poverty, always managing to overcome Dreverhaven's personal attacks against him. Katadreuffe was seen leaving Dreverhaven's office on the afternoon of the murder. He is arrested and taken to police headquarters, where he reflects back on the story of his long relationship with Dreverhaven, who, police learn, is also Katadreuffe's father.

The story begins when Katadreuffe's taciturn mother, Joba (played by Schuurman), worked as a housekeeper for Dreverhaven. During that time, they had sex only once (it is alluded that the encounter was forced upon Joba). She becomes pregnant and leaves her employer to make a living for herself and her son. Time and again she rejects Dreverhaven's offers by mail to marry.

Even as a child, Katadreuffe's path crosses with Dreverhaven, often with dire consequences. When he is arrested for a boyish prank and tells the police that Dreverhaven is his father, Dreverhaven refuses to recognize him as his son. When, as a young man, he unwittingly takes a loan from Dreverhaven's bank to purchase a failed cigar store, Dreverhaven sues him to win the money back. Still, Katadreuffe manages to pay back the debt, finding a clerical position in a law firm. He does this even though most of his education is derived from reading an incomplete set of encyclopedias that he happens to find as a boy in his mother's apartment.

After paying back the debt, Katadreuffe implores Dreverhaven to give him a second loan so that he can pass the bar examination. Dreverhaven agrees, on the condition that he can call back the loan at any time. Despite his efforts to hinder his son, Katadreuffe manages to pass the examination. On the afternoon of the murder he storms into Dreverhaven's office to pay the final installment on the loan. A fight ensues, and Katadreuffe attacks Dreverhaven before leaving. All around people see him as he marches out of the office.

However, the police discover that Katadreuffe left Dreverhaven at 5:00 p.m., while Dreverhaven died at 11:00 p.m. It transpires that Dreverhaven actually committed suicide. His will is produced, leaving all of his considerable wealth to his son. The will is signed "Vader" (Father).


The complicated relationship between Katadreuffe and Dreverhaven lies at the center of this film. Unrequited love and blind ambition are among the other themes in this film, as is the difficulty of some characters to express emotions fully and the repercussions that ensue.


Most scenes of the movie were shot in Wrocław, Poland.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Titanic (1997 film) — Titanic …   Wikipedia

  • Hercules (1997 film) — Infobox movie caption=Promotional poster for Hercules director=Ron Clements John Musker writer=Ron Clements John Musker Barry Johnson starring=Tate Donovan Josh Keaton Roger Bart Danny DeVito James Woods Susan Egan Rip Torn music=Alan Menken… …   Wikipedia

  • Anastasia (1997 film) — Anastasia Theatrical release poster Directed by Don Bluth Gary Goldman Pr …   Wikipedia

  • Regeneration (1997 film) — Infobox Film name = Regeneration image size = caption = director = Gillies MacKinnon producer = Allan Scott Peter R. Simpson writer = Pat Barker (novel) Allan Scott (screenplay) narrator = starring = Jonathan Pryce James Wilby Jonny Lee Miller… …   Wikipedia

  • Lolita (1997 film) — Infobox Film name = Lolita caption = director = Adrian Lyne producer = Mario Kassar Joel B. Michaels | writer = Stephen Schiff starring = Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffith, Dominique Swain, Frank Langella music = Ennio Morricone cinematography =… …   Wikipedia

  • Frozen (1997 film) — Frozen Fox Lorber DVD cover Directed by Wang Xiaoshuai Written by …   Wikipedia

  • Seven Years in Tibet (1997 film) — Infobox Film | name = Seven Years in Tibet caption = Seven Years in Tibet film poster. director = Jean Jacques Annaud producer = Jean Jacques Annaud Iain Smith John H. Williams writer = Heinrich Harrer (book) Becky Johnston starring = Brad Pitt… …   Wikipedia

  • List of characters in Titanic (1997 film) — The following is a list of characters from the 1997 film Titanic .1912 characters: Passengers on the RMS TitanicJack DawsonInfobox Person name=Jack Dawson birth date=1892 birth place=Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin death date=death date|1912|4|15|mf=y… …   Wikipedia

  • Fever Pitch (1997 film) — Infobox Film | name =Fever Pitch caption = director = David Evans producer = writer = Nick Hornby (novel + screenplay) starring = Colin Firth Ruth Gemmell Mark Strong Neil Pearson music = cinematography = editing = distributor = Channel 4 Films… …   Wikipedia

  • Character — Character(s) may refer to: Contents 1 Art and entertainment 2 Mathematics, science and technology 3 Symbols 4 Other …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”