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Borgman is a 2013 Dutch psychological thriller drama film directed by Alex van Warmerdam. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.[1] It was screened in the Vanguard section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[2] The film was selected as the Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards,[3] but it was not nominated.

Borgman poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byAlex van Warmerdam
Written byAlex van Warmerdam
StarringJan Bijvoet
CinematographyTom Erisman
Distributed byCinéart
Release date
  • 19 May 2013 (2013-05-19) (Cannes)
  • 29 August 2013 (2013-08-29) (Netherlands)
Running time
118 minutes



An armed priest, together with two other men, drive a hobo and his companions from their underground hideouts. The hobo, identifying himself as Anton, then appears at the door of a mansion. There, he encounters Richard and Marina, an upper-class married couple with three children. He claims he knows Marina, that he had slept with her before, and demands food and a bath. Due to his aggressive behaviour, Richard gets angry and violently beats him. However, Marina, driven by guilt and curiosity, decides to help him and allows him to stay in the garden shed, without Richard knowing it. During Richard's absence, Anton apparently befriends Marina and all three children. He has the ability to control Marina's dreams, so she starts to despise her husband while starting to like Anton.

One day Anton leaves the family and meets his mysterious team, Ludwig, Pascal, Brenda and Ilonka, who start a very sinister plot against the family. They poison the family gardener and strangle his wife, then return to the family. Now well-dressed and shaven, Anton identifies himself as Camiel Borgman and becomes the new gardener. He gets the guest room while his team settles in the garden shed, and they slowly take on roles in the life of the family.

Soon it is revealed that Camiel and his team have the ability to control people, corrupting their minds or killing them in cold blood if deemed necessary. Camiel seduces Marina to the point that she wants Richard dead, while Pascal seduces the family babysitter Stine, causing her to become hostile towards her boyfriend. The team also takes the children into the hideout to perform some kind of surgery on them, causing them to be more comfortable with Camiel and his team than with their own parents. The team then poisons Richard. Marina, hoping to be with Camiel, is shocked when he calmly refuses her advances. He poisons her later, and both she and Richard are buried under the garden. Camiel, his team, Stina and the children then depart into the forest.


  • Jan Bijvoet as Camiel Borgman
  • Hadewych Minis as Marina
  • Jeroen Perceval as Richard
  • Alex van Warmerdam as Ludwig
  • Tom Dewispelaere as Pascal
  • Sara Hjort Ditlevsen as Stine
  • Elve Lijbaart as Isolde
  • Dirkje van der Pijl as Rebecca
  • Pieter-Bas de Waard as Leo
  • Eva van de Wijdeven as Ilonka
  • Annet Malherbe as Brenda

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Borgman". TIFF. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Netherlands enters Borgman into Oscar race". Screendaily. Retrieved 13 September 2013.

External linksEdit