Thekla Rutan & Martijn De Jong On Dutch Oscar Entry — Contenders International –

NarcosisThe Netherlands’ entry for the Best International Feature Oscar combines, perhaps for the first time, a cocktail of themes: contenders, deep-sea diving and grief.

Directed by Martijn de Jong and co-written with his life partner Laura van Dijk, Narcosis is about a young family that suffers a tragedy and deals with it in a unique way. It won the Audience Award at the Thessaloniki Film Festival as well as the Best Film Award at the Netherlands Film Festival.


De Jong makes the call. Narcosis “a kind of mirror” to his family, “but not exactly autobiographical.” During’s Contenders Film: International Awards-sea event, she told us that she and Van Dijk “treasure hunt” the stories that were part of their lives.

“One of them is a contender that’s something my mom does. She has that ability in real life. I’m pretty conflicted about it,” he said, but Van Dijk was “very interesting.”

As for diving, de Jong explained that fewer people have been to the bottom of Bushman Hole than to the moon, “so it made us wonder why professional divers would want to go there and do it.” Want to risk their lives and leave their people behind?”The film is also a study of the stages of grief.


“When you put those three together, all of a sudden they start to elevate each other,” DeJong continued.


Thekla Reuten plays Meryl, a mother and widow in the story, who has the gift of clairvoyance but suddenly stops her practice. “The film revolves around her having a grieving process without an actual body, but she actually has the ability to close her eyes and if she sees him, she knows for sure that she will never see him again. That’s where his gift suddenly becomes very powerful in the story.

“It’s kind of a curse,” noted Reuten. She explained, “I really want to talk about how we’re going to present that aspect of it because it’s really important to me that it’s done respectfully and it’s also really interesting because it Like a lot of things in this movie, it takes place from the inside. There are really internal processes and I find it incredible how Laura and Martin find ways to communicate things that are such internal processes.


Check back Monday for the panel video.

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