Skip to content
still from Karakter (Character) (Mike van Diem, NL 1997)


Mike van Diem / BE, NL, 1997 / 120 min.

Van Diem’s directorial debut, an adaptation of Karakter (Character), the classic novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk about the clash between bailiff Dreverhaven and his illegitimate son Katadreuffe, won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998. Screening of the 4K restoration, Q&A with Mike van Diem and actor Fedja van Huêt led by Noa Johannes.

poster Karakter (Mike van Diem, NL 1997)
The merciless bailiff Dreverhaven (a monumental Jan Decleir) is feared by many in pre-war Rotterdam. His ambitious, headstrong illegitimate son Katadreuffe (breakthrough role for Fedja van Huêt) decides to become a lawyer after going bankrupt and single-mindedly pursues his goal, even dumping his girlfriend. Conflict with Dreverhaven is inevitable. Van Diem based himself on the eponymous novel by Bordewijk, which he incorporated elements into from the latter’s posthumously published early novel Dreverhaven en Katadreuffe.


Before the screening, Noa Johannes will talk to director Mike van Diem and actor Fedja van Huêt talk about the making of the film, their collaboration and the Oscar ceremony.

Karakter is part of A Season of Classic Film, which brings European films closer to audiences through a programme of free film screenings, provided by national and regional film archives, throughout Europe. The initiative is led by the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE).

This is part of


This movie contains scenes of violencePersons under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult


Mike van Diem

Production year




Original title



120 min.







Part of


Fancy enjoying a relaxed drink on a sultry summer evening while watching an exceptional film? Well you can, because this year once again we are screening films in the open air in the park next to the Eye building. This summer in our Sunsets screenings you can watch films by female directors such as Agnès Varda, Amy Heckerling and Jennie Livingston.

Learn more
campaign image Sunsets
still from Karakter (Character) (Mike van Diem, NL 1997)
still from Karakter (Character) (Mike van Diem, NL 1997)

Made possible by

logo Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE)
logo Creative Europe Media
Planning on having a drink or a bite to eat? Book online for Eye Bar Restaurant.
Share your love for film and become a member of the Eye Society.