In a mixture of Brechtian musical elements, special archive material and a surrealistic theatrical atmosphere, the film The Arm of Jesus, made for VPRO's Lolamoviola series, tells the story of a miner who steals his colleague's wages to pay for his ticket to America. His son travels after him years later, but can't find him. The son is sent on business from Chicago to Rotterdam; there fate has a surprise in store for him.André van der Hout: `The Arm of Jesus is a game with time. On one hand, events in the past you can no longer witness, a life lived, irrevocable history; the story of Father Hendrik Yzermans is largely told using found footage. It really happened and was recorded. On the other hand, you have the vicissitudes of his son Jakob Yzermans, who tries to intervene in the course of history. Two contrasting lives crossing paths in a backstreet boarding house.Rotterdam and fate are the two other characters in the story. In the last century, hundreds of thousands of newcomers settled here. But not everybody came to Rotterdam with the intention of staying. Some were only in transit. The commercial traveller, a refugee on his way to America. That someone hangs around all their life in a place he never wanted to go, I find a fascinating fact. I didn't really want to come to Rotterdam myself either.'

International title
The Arm of Jesus
Filmmaker
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands
Year
2003
Medium
35mm
Length
71’
Language
Dutch
Producer
Riba Film International B.V., Arry Voorsmit, VPRO
Sales
Riba Film International B.V.
Writer
André van der Hout
Cinematography
Adri Schrover
Editor
Adri Schrover, André van der Hout
Sound Design
Kees de Groot