The Black Dutchman

The Black Dutchman is an investigation of institutionalized racism and Black representation in the Netherlands. Despite being known for its liberalism and tolerance, the film explores the myriad of ways in which Dutch society upholds white superiority and xenophobia. The U.N. recently conducted a visit to the Netherlands and outlined many human rights issues adversely affecting people of African descent there. However, there are many who see race as an “American” problem and are in denial that racism is alive and well in their own backyard. After growing protests and counter-protests, tensions are at an all-time high. Kno’Ledge Cesar, co-founder of Zwarte Piet is Racisme, has lost his job as a result of his activism and now faces charges. As a mother, Glynis Terborg is fed up and refuses to allow her sons to take part in a celebration that so many find offensive. The film depicts how a treasured Dutch blackface holiday tradition and the controversy that surrounds it, is emblematic of acute anti-Black racism, civil unrest within Dutch society and how two individuals, one through his activism, the other through her art, will stop at nothing to make a change.

Grantee Information

Year(s) Awarded: 2015