Dealing with Death

Dood in de Bijlmer

  • Paul Sin Nam Rigter
  • Netherlands
  • 2020
  • 74 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

The many cultures in Bijlmer, a suburb in the southeast of Amsterdam, all have their own rituals around bidding farewell to the dead. Funeral director Anita, a white Dutch woman, is tasked with finding out what the community would want in a new multicultural funeral home, which the funeral organization Yarden hopes to establish there.

But the more the initially confident Anita sees and learns, the more she begins to have her doubts. The comments at a mosque are sobering. Do these diverse communities actually need Yarden? Navigating between two worlds, Anita also has to deal with death in her own circle, causing her to ask herself new questions.

This largely observational account follows Anita’s uncertain mission over a period of more than five years. It combines her own experience with a larger picture full of cultural contrasts—as illustrated in the parallel editing of a sober Dutch funeral and a Ghanaian one celebrated with music and dance. Meanwhile, at the Yarden offices, the ideal of diversity has to be aligned with the business plan.


  • 74 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Dutch, English, Sranantongo, Twi
  • Subtitles in: English (Closed Captioned)
Paul Sin Nam Rigter
Iris Lammertsma / Witfilm, Jantien Ekkes / Witfilm
PLUGGIN' Creative Lab
Gregg Telussa, Jefrim Rothuizen, Roel van 't Hoff
Noud Holtman

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Dutch Documentary

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IDFA history

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