Four mothers explain how their sons ended up in trouble with the law because they fell in with the wrong crowd, experienced trauma or were intimidated by a gang. The offenses are minor, and their involvement was not always proven—sometimes they were only witnesses to a crime. But once Amsterdam’s Top400 crime prevention program has them in its sights, things just get worse for them.
The mothers are held hostage by a bureaucracy that entirely disrupts family life. Friends and family see them as bad parents, and the police sometimes even treat them as accomplices. To protect their identity, the mothers themselves don’t appear on camera, but we do hear their voices. Their roles are played by actresses who lip-sync their stories.
These stories are not only an expression of frustration, anger and a sense of powerlessness, but also an indictment of the use of algorithms for the prediction of criminal behaviour. This form of crime prevention has a particularly stigmatizing effect and discriminates against socially and economically underprivileged young people from migrant backgrounds.
Nominated for IDFA Award for Best Dutch Film