Borgman (2013)


Borgman (2013)

A priest and his companion hunt silently through the fields, accompanied by a braying dog. They are armed and deadly. Their quarry is Camiel Borgman (Jan Bijvoet), living in military sparseness in an underground den, near companions Ludwig and Pascal. Camiel scrapes out with some difficulty, hitching a ride with a doomed truck driver on a relentless trip to the heart of suburbia. He passes by two odd women, Brenda and Ilonka, with whom he seems to share a history. When a dirty Camiel arrives at the door of artist Marina and media executive Richard's expansive, designer-chic home, the shifting perceptions of Van Warmerdam's screenplay begin to displace and disorient the audience. Hallucinogenic elements dot the consciousness as Camiel shifts between the roles of victim and aggressor. He asks for a bath. He toys with Richard's jealousy. He is viciously beaten up by his cruelly intolerant host and left wounded on the floor. Marina seeks to assuage her guilt by allowing him a space for ...
IMDb  6.7 /10
Metacritic   66%
Release Date2013-08-29
Runtime1h 53mins
GenreDrama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Content RatingNot Rated (Not Rated)
Awards13 wins & 22 nominations.
CompanyGraniet Film BV, NTR, Epidemic
CountryNetherlands, Belgium, Denmark
LanguageDutch, English
Camiel Borgman
Dirkje van der Pijl
Dirkje van der Pijl
Pieter-Bas de Waard
Pieter-Bas de Waard
Mike Weerts
Mike Weerts
Arthur Stornebrink
Benjamin Boe Rasmussen
Benjamin Boe Rasmussen
Man with Dog

Borgman (film)

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. It was screened in the Vanguard section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film was selected as the Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.


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 she had nursed him in hospital, 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, Stine 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