section Documentary Film Competition


  • NL
  • 2021
  • 71 Min

The Shoah in the living room. Oeke Hoogendijk attempts to find out what the reason is for her mother Lous' categorical, decade-long refusal to leave her home. What, at first glance, comes across as perfectly normal in this film - a woman in the living room watching TV with her cat - gradually turns into an oppressive reality, in which inner and outer worlds collide and the Holocaust, essentially the woman’s housemate, is ever present.

Directors Note: „My mother (85) never leaves the intimacy of her house. But she travels the world extensively through her TV's and computers. Before I was born, as my mother was still a teenager, she was deported to the Nazi-concentration camps. After the war my mother kept having recurring nightmares and suffering from agoraphobia (street fright). Lous is a typical "yiddische mamme": stubborn, eccentric but also intelligent with a dark sense of humor. All my life I was never fully able to explain my mother to others, she was always so different from any other mother I’ve known. One day I said to myself: why not make a film? Then I started this film to reach and fathom my mother. To unravel her I needed to enter her universe, her home, and also her deepest fears. After many years my mother opens the door and lets me and my camera's inside.This is how HOUSEWITZ became not only a very personal film but also a universal story on how war experiences can shadow the life of a person.

19.6. 16.00 Jüdisches Museum Berlin, followed by a discussion with Oeke Hoogendijk, director


original title THUISWITZ

international title Housewitz

german title Housewitz

JFBB section Documentary Film Competition

  • director OEKE HOOGENDIJK

country/countries NL

year 2021

duration 71 Min