The Netherlands


Jörgen’s world is crumbling. Forced into early retirement and harassed by his ex-wife, the only part of his life which made sense – raising his beloved daughter, Tirza – is disrupted when she disappears on holiday in Namibia. After weeks of terrified 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 and discover her fate.

Director's Statement

When I first read the novel “Tirza”, I was struck by a vision of something bigger than the story: a film like a shockwave – as if your nerve endings were directly connected to those of the main character. TIRZA is at once a journey to the end of the night and a love story, not along the well-worn paths of romance but along the cliff edge of the mind-blowing love of a parent for his child. The film is not meant as an illustration of a theme. What I intended to express through the film is the aimless wandering of the hollow, modern man. The protagonist feels he is superfluous; Jörgen’s life is a failure. Then, a small black guardian angel appears in the wasteland of his life and gives him the strength to heroically free himself from the darkness in his heart. TIRZA does not aim to explain but to overwhelm – as only film can.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Rudolf van den Berg

Written by: Rudolf van den Berg

Produced by: San Fu Maltha, Jeroen Koolbergen

Cinematography: Gabor Szabo

Editing: Job ter Burg

Production Design: Benedict Schillemans

Original Score: Bob Zimmerman

Cast: Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Sylvia Hoeks, Johanna ter Steege, Keitumetse Matlabo, Nasrdin Dchar

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2011