Tirza (2010)

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Jörgen Hofmeester is desperately looking for his missing daughter Tirza and heading towards a brutal confrontation with the man who has been the undoing of his favorite child.

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Credited cast:
Jeroen Spitzenberger ...
Gijs Scholten van Aschat ...
Nasrdin Dchar ...
Michael Dube ...
Driver minibus
Naomi van Es ...
Tirza Hofmeester - 8 years old
Titia Hoogendoorn ...
Keitumetse Matlabo ...
Sello Motloung ...
Trish Karemba ...
Internet café employee
Armas Shivute ...
BBQ vendor
Gert Kats ...
Ernst Mburu ...
Sandal seller


Jörgen's world is crumbling. Forced into early retirement and harassed by his ex-wife, the only part of his life which makes sense - his beloved daughter Tirza - is shattered when she disappears on holiday in Namibia. After weeks of terrifying uncertainty, Jörgen goes searching for her, but the heat, his drinking and bad memories combine to unhinge him. His only ally is a child prostitute called Kaisa. Together they journey into the wilderness on Tirza's trail to discover her fate. Written by Holland Film

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Release Date:

30 September 2010 (Netherlands)  »

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"No animals were harmed during the making of this movie, except for the white spider." See more »


Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #6.4 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Funeral procession for Jörgen Hofmeester
3 October 2010 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

The thematics of "Tirza" revolve around the principle of the 'dead white man'. The typical man who seems denied to the elite of living men: this is Jörgen Hofmeester. He is an insignificant, almost banal man whose world further collapses when his favorite daughter, Tirza, graduates and leaves with her Morrocan boyfriend for Namibia. Upon not hearing a word from her after the goodbye, he decides to travel after her to Windhoek.

What follows is an enormous quest for significance, for his daughter and for a center for misguided human beings like himself, on which he encounters only more disappointment, insignificance and errancy. Based on a novel by Anton Grunberg, this movie is highly literary and philosophical in non-aesthetic and non-sentimental ways. From the bitterness of a 9-year-old child prostitute to the coherence of his lives in both the Netherlands and Namibia; everything is masterfully dissected and analyzed from an absolutely merciless point of view.

No heroes here, no villains, because the only villain, as we know, is the human psyche. Grunberg, as well as screenwriter/director Van den Berg, clearly knows how to make surrealism realistic and symbolism natural. This is a completely disoriented movie and after seeing it, it will be difficult to know where the toilets of the cinema are.

As for the cinematography: it is splendid. Cold colors make even the sunlit Namibia look sinister and the quite contrasted colors give the film an extra dimension: not only its visuals are contrasted, but so are its characters. Subtle references to The Shining, Paris;Texas and many other films must be noted.

The performances are engaging and often quite funny: Sylvia Hoeks playing a girl 9 years her minor is the light-bulb in all this and you can sympathize with this sympathetic yet unsure girl. She may be the only thing which is significant in this story. It's understandable that Jörgens feelings for her surpass fatherhood.

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