Mijn grote broer

Mercedes Stalenhoef

A family must come to grips with the suicide of their eldest son. What drove the outwardly relaxed and happy Arie to his deed? For two years we follow his younger brother Gijs, mother Denise and father Arjan while they try to turn despair into meaning.

‘As brothers, I thought our bond was so deep he would tell me everything.’ Gijs is stricken by self-doubt after his elder brother Arie took his own life at the age of 22. At first, Arie’s deed is a complete mystery to his family. From home movies and the little clips Arie made aboard the container ship where he worked, we get a picture of a joyful and creative young man, and of a loving, supporting bond between the brothers.

But then his father Arjan finds a document on Arie’s hard drive entitled ‘Doubts’. It contains his thoughts during the last stages of his life, and ultimately his farewell letter to his family. For them, it is the start of a painful process of trying to understand, and ultimately to heal. Gripping, brave and taboo breaking documentary about the enormous impact suicide has on those left behind. 


Mercedes Stalenhoef
Frank van den Engel, Elize Kerseboom
Country of production
Netherlands, The
108 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
Zeppers Film & TV
Dutch distributor
Mokum Filmdistributie