Black Butterflies

Paula van der Oest

Fiction film by Dutch director Paula van der Oest, starring Carice van Houten as rebel South African artist Ingrid Jonker. With her controversial collection of poems, she stood up to the ruling Nasionale Party in South Africa.

In the fifties and sixties, Ingrid Jonker shared her unconventional ideas about art, love and politics with a small group of like-minded writers and artists in South Africa, the so-called ‘Sestigers’. Against the backdrop of resistance against censorship imposed by the Nasionale Party, Ingrid Jonker lives her young life to the max and her work is increasingly known and acknowledged. Her true love, novelist Jack Cope, cannot bring her the happiness and the peace of mind that she is yearning for. She has a difficult relationship with her father Abraham Jonker (Rutger Hauer), a conservative minister for the Nasionale Party during the apartheid era. Political differences of opinion create an ever widening gap between father and daughter. The importance of Ingrid Jonker’s work for the South-African culture is only acknowledged after Nelson Mandela reads her poem ‘Die Kind’ (The Child) during his inaugural address to the South African parliament in 1994.


Paula van der Oest
Country of production
Netherlands, The
98 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Dutch distributor
A-Film Benelux MSD