Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

WOW.doc: A Family Affair

Documentary screening

WHEN: Thursday 19 October 19:30

Opening film IDFA 2015

a film by Tom Fassaert / documentary, 90′, 16mm/8mm/vhs/HD, colour and b&w

WOW screens this award-winning documentary with an introduction and Q&A with the director.

”Following the problematic relationship between my 95-year-old grandmother and my father, this film explores the delicate terrain along the fault lines of my own family. A personal quest through four generations that inadvertently becomes complicated when my grandmother makes an unexpected confession.”

Click here for Facebook.

Free entry, English subtitles, English Q&A, drinks available before and after.

Curated by WOW Artist in Residence Kristina Daurova.


Written, directed & filmed by Tom Fassaert
Assistant director: Thabi Mooi
Editing: Claudio Hughes

Music: Tobias Borkert
Sound Design: Senjan Jansen
Production: Wout Conijn / Conijn Film
In co-production with: Clind’oeil film & Danish Documentary
Involved broadcaster: NCRV (the Netherlands)
With support from: NCRV, Mediafonds, Nederlands Filmfonds, VAF, Blue Ice Fact Fund


  • Best European Documentary 2016 (nominated) @ European Film Awards, 2016
  • Gouden Kalf for Best Long Documentary @ Nederlands Film Festival, 2016
  • Special Jury Award @ International Documentary Filmfest. Amsterdam (IDFA), 2015
  • Special Jury Award @ Millenium Documentary Film Festival Brussels, 2016
  • Best Film Award in International Competition @ It’s All True Brazil, 2016
  • Best Film Award in International Competition @ Biografilm Bologna Italy, 2016
  • Best Documentary Award @ Sopot International Film Festival Poland, 2016
  • Audience Award @ Faito Doc Film Festival Italy, 2016
  • Golden Nanook Award for Best Film @ Festival Flahertiana Russia, 2016
  • Special Jury Award @ Zürich Film Festival, 2016
  • PerSo Masterpiece Award for Best Feature @ PerSo Film Festival Italy, 2016
  • Best Feature Documentary Award @ Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Fest, 2016
  • Grand Jury Prize @ Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Fest, 2016
  • Special Jury Award @ CinéDoc Tbilisi Georgia, 2016
  • Grand Prix of the Jury @ Family Film Project Portugal, 2016
  • St. Louis Film Critics’ Award (Best Doc Feature) @ St. Louis Int Film Fest USA 2016
  • Dutch Directors Guild Award 2016 for best documentary
  • Kristallen Film @ Dutch cinema’s – more than 20.000 tickets sold, 2015


Variety: “A Family Affair is both an anguished plea for information and a moving acceptance of the things it cannot change. It’s the kind of intimately dispassionate anatomy of a character that only a family member could make, and one from which she emerges as an unforgettable anti-heroine: immediately charismatic and frighteningly remote, potentially bipolar or a master manipulator of facades. It’s the sheer unpredictable perversity of human nature that takes the breath away at key points in Fassaert’s unsettling, perhaps unsolvable, inquiry.

Huffington Post: “It is one of the most artful films I have ever seen to deal with family trauma.” “A passionate and highly personal documentary, but one of an appeal as universal as family ties in all their complexity and contradictory nature, a painful yet entertaining story… as compelling as a thriller.”

Richard Poplak (South African author and journalist): ” A Family Affair is a – well, what? Part melodrama, part mystery, all documentary, it’s an agonising portrait of a family’s undoing… a beautifully shot, emotionally wrought endorsement of Tolstoy’s ageless dictum: ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.'”

Filmkrant: **** “Hij had zich als filmmaker en als mens nauwelijks nog meer bloot kunnen geven. Een buitengewoon familieportret dat nog lang beklijft.”

Parool: **** “Een schitterende emotionele rollercoaster waarin Tom Fassaert zijn camera richt op zijn disfunctionele familie.”

Trouw: **** “Wat Tom Fassaerts geweldige ‘A Family Affair’ verder ook is – een egodocument, een monsterfilm, een oorlogsfilm – alleen een familiekwestie is het zeker niet.”

Telegraaf: **** “A family affair maakt op een ijzersterke manier inzichtelijk hoe iedere keuze en situatie uit het verleden oneindig kan blijven nagalmen.”

HP/De Tijd: **** “Hij weet de drang tot gepsychologiseer te weerstaan en toont zich vooral een scherp observator. Een adembenemend familieportret. ”

NRC: “Sommige verhalen zijn zo groot, dat je ze alleen klein kunt vertellen… een verhaal over trauma en de narcistische paradox, die een gebrek aan eigenwaarde met een overdreven zelfbeeld compenseert.”