On November 2nd, 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered by a young Muslim extremist in broad daylight on a busy city street. Van Gogh was an outspoken critic of the Muslim fundamentalism spreading through the Netherlands. With Parliamentarian Ayaan Hirshi Ali, van Gogh made the short film Submission, which questioned the practice of suppressing women in the name of the Koran. The film cost him his life.
His murder had a huge impact on Dutch society and sparked a wave of xenophobia. Right-wing extremists set fire to mosques and Islamic schools. In political circles, the ongoing debate about immigration ground to a halt, further than ever from resolution. Young Muslims who felt like second-class citizens despite of having been born and raised in the Netherlands, became even more frustrated.
As a response to this terrible murder and the increasingly polarized climate in the Netherlands, a group of filmmakers made All Souls, a film about the events of November 2nd. The film consists of 16 cinematic shorts in which different screenwriters and directors show the different ways in which people reacted to the murder and the subsequent explosion of fear and hate.
The film does not give a uniform answer to the situation. It offers only a portrait of different people and their lives, opinions and points of view. We believe humanity is the only possible answer to extremism. We believe that hateful ideologies can be fought only by diversity and openness. The film premiered on April 7th, 2005, five months after the Amsterdam events.
72 Maagden (Michiel van Jaarsveld / Netherlands / 2005 / 11min.)
A man enters an empty hospital with a Tartar sword sticking out of his stomach and embarks on a long search for medical help.
Nachtwacht (Norbert ter Hall / Netherlands / 2005 / 3min.)
Night slowly creeps over a Dutch city. The city calmly falls asleep, and at dawn it will awaken as if nothing has happened.
Storm (Rita Horst / Netherlands / 2005 / 6min.)
When two Turkish boys pick at a tin can with a knife and stretch a cord across the road, passersby nervously turn away.
Vincent Destombes President Altadis E.U. 08/11/04 Lyon, France (Constant Dullaart / Netherlands / 2005 / 3min.)
The speech of Vincent Destombes, president of the French tobacco company Altadis, from November 8, 2004.
Met uitzicht op bloemen (Maarten Treurniet / Netherlands / 2005 / 9min.)
People lay flowers in front of Theo van Gogh’s house. Two women look out their windows nearby and explain to their daughters how much the world has changed.
Stabat Mater (Rob Schröder / Netherlands / 2005 / 4min.)
Musical and dance allegory.
Groeten uit Holland (Hanro Smitsman / Netherlands / 2005 / 8min.)
A Jacques Tati style slapstick comedy about human bickering and intolerance engendered by chaos and misunderstanding.
Genade (Nicole van Kilsdonk / Netherlands / 2005 / 6min.)
One woman, one taxi, one life.
Dylan (Marco van Geffen / Netherlands / 2005 / 4min.)
Sometimes you can break the law unintentionally, especially when you are 12-years-old.
Stofwolk (David Lammers / Netherlands / 2005 / 8min.)
On a February morning in Amsterdam, a mysterious cloud suddenly appears in a small side street.
Van 12 hoog (Gerrard Verhage / Netherlands / 2005 / 8min.)
Three virtuous bearded men have to punish someone for homosexual behavior. The best solution is to throw the offender from a tall building.
Welterusten Wilders (Peter De Baan / Netherlands / 2005 / 4min.)
Should they conform? Or should we accept them the way they are? Maybe it’s not even that complicated.
Good Bye (Meral Uslu / Netherlands / 2005 / 3min.)
Who knows how many people are making love in this town at this very moment?
Betsy (Tim Oliehoek / Netherlands / 2005 / 4min.)
When you go out at night with a flashlight looking for a goat, you may bump into something unexpected.
02/11 (Mijke de Jong / Netherlands / 2005 / 9min.)
The fateful day seen through the eyes of several different people.
Restaurant (Eddy Terstall / Netherlands / 2005 / 3min.)
The daily menu at this renowned restaurant offers delicacies from all over the world. The guests sure have a difficult choice.