Borgman

“Camiel Borgman.” That’s the name used by a somewhat sketchy stranger (Jan Bijvoet), who suddenly appears at the door of a middle-class family. In spite of his disreputable appearance and behaviour, the young mother in the household Marina (Hadewych Minis) unaccountably can’t resist him and lets Borgman in. It isn’t long before Borgman has his own room and starts doing work as a gardener. But something about Borgman’s behaviour is amiss and it appears he has complicated ulterior intentions...

Dutch grand master Alex van Warmerdam’s latest film is an enigmatic thriller that makes a characteristic homage to the absurd. Borgman, which was featured at Cannes, is like a remake of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film “Theorem”. Here, too, the main character is a mysterious stranger who becomes a deus ex machina in a harmonious idyll, whose chaotic actions start sowing confusion into a carefully ordered bourgeois world.

Warmerdam’s humour is black and bleak, like a dark night, well-suited to the approaching bleak season Estonia (“the winter is coming!”). The finest director in the Netherlands is only to be congratulated for his return to peak form.

Tristan Priimägi