by Mike van Diem

1997 Selection


Feature Film

1934. Bailiff Dreverhaven, known as an ill-tempered man, is found stabbed to death in his office. Katadreuffe, his illegitimate son who's soon suspected of having murdered him, tells his story. His mother, Joba, was a servant in Dreverhaven's home and had a brief affair with him. Katadreuffe's childhood has been quite poor because his silent mother never accepted to marry the begging Dreverhaven refusing ada­mantly any kind of financial help from him. Humiliated by the other children because he doesn't have a father, Katadreuffe is soon determined to be a successful businessman at any cost. But when he goes ban­krupt after trying to open a tobacconist's, he discovers that it was his father who discreetly loaned money to him. Was it to help him or to ensure his failure? This question becomes an obsession for the young man. He then banishes from his life anything that, could delay his climb on the social ladder. He refuses the love of a lovely co-worker, sees his mother die and after years of hard study, he passes the exam to become a lawyer. On graduation day, he visits Dreverhaven to confront him for the last time...