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Oxygen (2010)

Adem (original title)
1:19 | Trailer
Two young men share an incurable illness. Is their love for the women in their lives strong enough to conquer their fear of dying?


9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rik Verheye ...
Gijs Scholten van Aschat ...
Professor Duhamel
Maarten Mertens ...
verpleger Rachid
Günther Lesage ...
Operator in longfunctiebox (as Gunther Lesage)
Jonge dokter
Jolente De Keersmaeker ...
Dokteres van Wacht
Mark van den Bos ...
Chirurg (as Mark Vandenbos)
Kasper Vandenberghe ...


Professor Duhamel takes great but heartless interest in the rare case of a mutated, yet congenital long disease of shy 'good boy' Lucas, father Karl's pride, and his rebellious brother Tom, who decides to enjoy as much as possible his short-cut life with dubious buddy Jimmy. Lucas dies in a promising transplant, Tom finds an apparent soul-mate in older Xavier, on the same donor list. Over a few years, doomed passion with two girls, one of which is in a bubble on account of an uncontrolled infection, messes up their relationships and even Tom's will to live, while Jimmy spares no effort or victim for his buddy's chances. Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

8 September 2010 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Haaien moeten blijven bewegen  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The script written by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem and Hans Van Nuffel was awarded best original script by the Flemish script academy. See more »


When Tom calls Eline for the first time when she is in quarantine, he uses the 5-digit phone number Eline gave him. This 5-digit number is an internal number in the hospital (regular phone numbers in Belgium having 9 or 10 digits). Tom calls her using his mobile phone (not using the phone he has on his room that would allow for an internal number) and clearly uses only 5 digits. The connection cannot be established that way. See more »

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User Reviews

Adem (Oxygen) takes its audience on emotional roller-coaster
3 September 2010 | by (Montreal) – See all my reviews

Adem, directed by Hans Van Nuffel, screened this week in international competition at the Montreal World Film Festival (FFM). Tom (played by Stef Aerts) suffers from chronic cystic fibrosis - an hereditary condition he shares with his older brother Lucas (Maarten Mertens). Tom & Lucas spend much of their youth in the Belgian health care system, and the awful certainty that they will need to receive lung transplants and otherwise will not survive as adults. In one of his hospital stays, Tom meets Xavier (Wouter Hendrickx), who has the same illness. Xavier teaches Tom that life can be enjoyed to its fullest notwithstanding their precarious state of health. The two men face many ups & downs in a tumultuous relationship which is the basis of this fascinating film. The women in their lives and as well Tom's friends play prominent roles in an emotional roller coaster of a film. Ultimately, the two men's fates are inextricably linked. Stef Aerts delivers a magnificent acting performance, in which learning to take a breath of air is a challenge. The camera work is sensitive and yet unobtrusive. Hans Van Nuffel, who has a mild form of cystic fibrosis, also wrote the script and knows the subject matter. This gripping film is ultimately not about the illness. Rather it is about the will to survive.

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