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0,8 Amps of Happiness

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), popularly known as electroshock therapy. This therapy is often effective but has long encountered deep-rooted prejudice and fear. Director Saskia Gubbels intimately portrays three people who undergo electroshock therapy.

4 seasons, The

A lonely hotel room, a picture on the wall. The 4 seasons in 1 minute. Kwaaak!

69: Love Sex Senior

What part does love play in your life when you have been married for over 60 years? Can you still fall in love at 85? Does an orgasm still feel the same? What kind of influence does an older body have on the experience of sex?


An abstract animated adventure into the world of Franz Schubert

:Puck and the Riddle of Codes


Puck Meerburg (15) has been an IT prodigy from the age of seven. He has won several prestigious prizes already, including the Apple Design Award for students. Major IT companies like Microsoft and Google have shown their interest in his capabilities.

A Cow in a Wrong Body

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Like all ‘horse girls’, Jantien (15) would really like to have her own horse, but she can’t have one. So Jantien decided to train her cow Mo instead. Mo is every bit as good as a horse. She trots, gallops, jumps and even competes in horse shows. When Jantien turns 16, she will finally get a horse. Will her love for Mo fade? A film about a special friendship between a horse girl and a cow.

A Dress for Anuschka


Nine-year-old Anuschka dreams about having a fantastic dress. Her father is getting married to stepmother Kitty, who has lived in their house for the past two years. But the family has hardly enough money to live on. Their situation is so bad that they have to go to the food bank. Will Anuschka get her bridesmaid’s dress?

A Good Turn Daily

The main character, a modern Don Quichote, strives to right the wrongs of this world.

A Haunting History


After studying in England, the young and ambitious lawyer Anuol, returns to his homeland South Sudan. Haunted by his own violent past and committed to fighting against human rights violations, he believes that the law will be his only true guide to bring sustainable peace to the country. But his western education clashes with the minds of his fellow countrymen. While Anuol strongly believes in the healing power of justice by convictions, others think it best to lay the past to rest. Desperately trying to convince his countrymen that there is no reconciliation without justice, Anuol finds himself on the verge of a breakdown.

A Wonderful Sacrifice

Filmmaker Karin Junger explores the Nederlands Dans Theather (DNT) through the eyes of two dancers currency with the company, and two former dancers who were part of the company in its very beginnings. We follow the ups and downs of a dancer’s life, the hard work, the joys of creation, and the sacrifices often made in the private life and physical condition of the average dancer.

A Wooly Good Cause

Sila is eleven years old. Being fond of animals she decides to never eat meat again. However, Sila’s father is a butcher. When he brings a sheep home for slaughter, the time has come to act: Sila decides to free the sheep.


Abigail is 6 year’s old and probably the most curious girl from the South East part of Amsterdam. Together with her parents from Suriname she lives in an appartment complex. Abi roams around from door to door, always seeking for new adventure. And because of her curiosity she sometimes runs into trouble. But Abi always finds a way out of awkward situations. In a playful way Abi’s adventures inspire to overcome prejudices against other cultures.

About Canto

If this piece of music had never been composed, the lives of many people would have been fundamentally different.

Ahmad’s Hair

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Syrian refugee Ahmad (12) just arrived in The Netherlands. While he is busy integrating in Dutch society and trying to make Dutch friends, it turns out he’s also on a personal, heart-warming mission.



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Alfredo Lorenzo (13) has a dream: he wants to be the best magician in the world. This isn’t a random wish as his whole family works in the entertainment industry. He was raised performing magic and comes from a long line of artists. For this reason his whole family is helping him to realise his dream. To achieve this, he has a tough road ahead with lots of practice, performances and magic performing competitions. Alfredo’s life seems like one big show, but what does it really take if you have decided your future profession at such a young age? How does Alfredo deal with the pressure, the intense training and life in the limelight’s?

Alice Cares


Carebot Alice leaves the laboratory to visit Mrs. Remkes, Mrs. Schellekens-Blanke and Mrs. van Wittmarschen, each in their own house. The three women are getting on in age and are therefore exceptionally suited for the services of Alice, who has been developed by SELEMCA. This is a research group which tries to discover, with the help of community nurses and family, how ‘sociobot’ Alice should talk and react to stem the effects of loneliness on older women. The outcome of the experiment is surprising for all involved.

All my tomorrows


I pledge that I will practice medicine to the best of my ability in the service of my fellow human beings… (Opening of the Physician’s Oath of the Royal Dutch Medical Society and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, based on the Hippocratic oath, ± 400 B.C.)

All of Me


In this documentary we meet with seventeen-year-old Diede that has been bullied in the past. She didn’t have any friends and felt alone. She never wants to feel that way again. That’s the reason why she tells nobody that she is able to see ghosts, not even her best friend Emma. Or should Diede actually tell her, even though it will put their friendship at stake? Will she take a chance? A film about the courage it takes to be special.

Along the banks of the Yangtze

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China is one of the largest world powers but we can hardly put a face on it yet. Let alone have any idea of how the average Chinese man lives and works, or what his ambitions or fears are.Photographer Ruben Terlou took his camera along the banks of the River Yangtze, talking to the locals about the impact of the economic progress.

Amsterdam Law

Amsterdam Law is a small law firm located in Amsterdam, The intriguing drama series revolves around the lives of the six lawyers, and their secretary that is largely dominated by their varied caseload and clashes of personality.

Ana Ana


This documentary is a is a cinematic poem about four young creative Egyptian women.
Most of the material is filmed by the characters themselves, who worked with the film’s directors in a process of collaboration and mentorship over a course of two years.

And that’s why I’m working, 14 years later

Fourteen years after the documentary That’s why I’m working (1999), filmmakers Maarten Schmidt and Thomas Doebele went back to the children from one of Dhaka’s slums, in Bangladesh. Under the motto `Today’s working children are tomorrow’s uneducated adults,’ they could go to school for free. They are in their twenties now, and the filmmakers were wondering if the vicious circle of poverty passed on from generation to generation has been broken.

Andy’s Promise


Thirtheen-year-old Andy made a promise to his grandfather and mother: never to abandon the militia, which was their pride and joy. Due to the shortage of youth members Andy has been the youngest member of the club for years now.

Anja is stubborn

Anja is spastic and has been in a wheelchair ever since she can remember. Anja is making a video clip about walking, because, as she says in the film:” to walk is still my greatest wish”. Anja tells what it is like to spend your whole life sitting down.

Anouar and the Moon

At the home of Iranian Anouar (10) the curtains are closed day and night and his mother lies in bed all day. To get the light back in the house and to give his little sister comfort, he decides to catch the moon for her.

Anything goes


In this Emmy Kids Award winning short youth drama the viewer meets with Tygo (11). After moving from Brabant to Amsterdam, Tygo gives a class talk about carnival. What starts as a general explanation of the festival, turns into a personal and poignant account.


The conductor uses his audience to achieve his own success.

Argos TV: A Sea of Pictures

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In 2015, almost 4000 boat refugees drown during their crossing to Europe. We only know the name of one of them: Aylan Kurdi. On September 2, the photograph of a toddler washed up on the beach in Bodrum went viral on social media. One day later it headlined newspapers worldwide. Media call the photograph iconic and politicians have used the image of the drowned infant for their own grandstanding. Supporters and opponents alike have tried to embrace Aylan as a symbol for a more generous refugee policy. Six months later, Medialogica wonders: what is the significance of such a picture in the refugee debate?

Argos TV: The World according to Russia Today

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The channel Russia Today was launched in 2005 under the name Russia Today to bring the Russian perspective on world events to a global audience. To counter channels like BBC World, CNN and Al-Jazeera. Almost ten years later it’s the biggest news organisation on YouTube with its 2 billion views, more than CNN and BBC together. Where its critics call it a bullhorn for Russian propaganda, RT presents itself as an alternative to mainstream media.

Argos TV: Why Srebrenica had to Fall


Serb general Ratko Mladic knew that there would not be any NATO airstrikes when, in July 1995, his troops launched the attack on the Srebrenica enclave – which was protected by Dutch UN soldiers – and killed over eight thousand people. Six weeks earlier, the Clinton administration had decided not to carry out any further airstrikes on Serb targets ‘for the time being’. Washington made that decision ‘in silence’. The Dutch government at that time was left completely in the dark.

Around the World in 50 Concerts

In 2013 the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra toured the world to celebrate its 125th anniversary: 50 concerts spread over 6 continents. Unbounded passion and love for music brings musicians and concert goers together.


Joost has ADHD. No one knows, except his parents and his teachers. His isolation increases. In this film, Joost finally shows who he really is.

At one view

This animated film is a commentary on the imaginary nature of photography and film.

Awake in a Bad Dream

This touching film follows Ingrid, Vicky and Sabrina as they face inevitable and painful choices at the hospital after being diagnosed with breast cancer. They are working towards recovery through often tough and painful treatments, but are acutely aware that the disease can rear its ugly head again without warning.


Twelve-year-old Azza is caught between two cultures – the liberal culture of her Dutch mother and the strict Islamic culture of her Egyptian father. She goes to an Islamic primary school and after the summer she will be going to grammar school, where hardly anyone wears a headscarf. Will she stay loyal to her father’s culture or will the headscarf go?

Backlight: A Future of Abundance

While the world is in crisis, there is a man who thinks the future is as bright as it can be. Peter Diamandis, author of the book Abundance and co-founder of Singularity University, sees how technology can soon provide all basic needs such as energy, clean drinking water and food for the growing world population, with ease.

Backlight: Access to Africa


The urge of technological giants to connect everyone and everything literally has no limits. Google wants to use balloons to form a shield around the planet and Facebook is experimenting with drones and a free Facebook app for mobile phones. At the moment, Africa is the continent with the most ‘white spots’ on the map: places without internet or mobile phone signal. There, however, developments have accelerated. Africa is joining the traffic on the digital highway.

Backlight: After the Revolution

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In the spring of 2011 many protesters took over the public squares in Spain. They demanded that a stop had to be put to the cuts, the evictions, and the sell-out to the banks. In the squares of Tunis, Kiev, Amsterdam, Cairo, Istanbul and Tel Aviv big groups of people gathered over the past few years to protest and press their demands for change. But what happened after the demonstrations in the squares?

Backlight: Arctic Promises

In the North, people are happy that climate change is a fact now: If we continue this way, the Arctic ice will have melted by 2040! We will see glaciers disappear and entire species of fish migrate.

Backlight: Big Data; The Shell Search


Ever since the revelations about the snooping practices of the US and the Dutch intelligence services, we have become increasingly aware of the vast amount of digital data that are stored about us on the net, in the matrix. Data about citizens, information about governments and multinationals is also stored in multi-terabyte files: big data. The good news is that a large part of this information is, thus, also accessible to all of us, if you just know where to look.

Backlight: Bitcoin Gospel

Is bitcoin the blueprint for a bankless currency, or the biggest pyramid scheme ever?What if we could create money ourselves, without the need for banks? Money that can’t be forged, that will appreciate rather than depreciate, and that can be used worldwide without transaction costs.

Backlight: Black Lives Matter

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In 2013 in Sanford, Florida, vigilante George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin. As a result, the struggle against police violence flared up under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and turned into one of the biggest grassroots movements in the United States.

Backlight: Branding Europe


The extent to which the IS caliphate seems to appeal to young Muslims, the strong Kremlin propaganda machine, and the unstoppable flow of migrants at the gates: Europe can feel the threat of it all breathing down its neck. There is an increasing urgency for Europe to restate its raison d’être. A clear and emotional story about what we are and what that is worth to us.

Backlight: Bye Bye Car

A documentary about the future of transportation.

Cars will become less prominent. Bill Ford of Ford Motor company claims that in ten years’ time the company will sell mobility, not cars. How will we move around in the future? The first spectacular signs are manifesting themselves.

Backlight: Capitalising Happiness

Trust, openness, and love are terms that will make any manager shiver. Yet, they made Brazilian top entrepreneur Ricardo Semler immensely rich. He built a world empire based on the simple question: What would really make my employees happy? He wrote a book on the subject – ‘Maverick’ – an international bestseller, that was devoured in over 35 languages. Everyone wants to know what magic spell he has found to make so much money on happiness.


With rising temperatures and rising gas prices, cars need to become greener fast. And superficially, the large car manufacturers seem to work hard to improve the fuel efficiency of their products. But are they really? The technology to make cars much more fuel efficient already exists for decades, but it never makes it to the showroom. Why do we have to wait so long for fuel efficient vehicles?

Backlight: Changemakers


French economist Thomas Piketty and Canadian activist Naomi Klein are intellectual super stars who conquer the world with their ideas. They inspire and mobilize millions of people all over the globe. 

Backlight: China – from Cartier to Confucius (HD available)

While the rest of the world tries to come to terms with China’s rising economic and political power and its impact on the existing global order; a small group of philosophy students from Shanghai’s prestige Fudan University gathers every Friday night at their professor’s house to study Chinese classical texts by Confucius.

Backlight: City for Sale?

‘Good luck Amsterdam: watch your back!’

All large cities in the world have become magnets for newcomers, tourists, expats and laptop-nomads. In the Netherlands two cities like Groningen and Eindhoven are bursting at the seams. In our capital Amsterdam the pressure is the greatest.

Backlight: Cyberjihad

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Jihadists are fighting a war on social media. The propaganda they spread is getting ever more professional. Which virtual weapons will ISIS deploy to radicalise young people in the West? Why do young Europeans fall for ‘the medieval reality show’ of ISIS?

Backlight: Digital Amnesia

Digital data is vulnerable. Yet entire libraries are shredded and lost to budget cuts, because we assume everything can be found online. But is that really true? For the first time in history, we have the technological means to save our entire past, yet it seems to be going up in smoke. Will we suffer from collective amnesia?

Backlight: Digital Food


Modern food production is largely dependent on fossil fuels. Now that we are beginning to reach the end of them, the main question remains: How will we feed a global population of 9 billion people in 2050? In the Netherlands, Belgium and Silicon Valley, numerous startups have sprung up that use smart technology, big data and new distribution systems to find solutions for this issue.

Backlight: E-stonia- a start-up country

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In the very north-east of Europe, on the border of Russia, lies the small country of Estonia. Per capita, Estonia has the most start-ups; internet access is considered a human right and all Estonians have free wifi. Whatever is new in the field of digital society has been tried out and used here first. The first e-residents have given their fingerprints for a virtual residence permit. The eyes of cosmopolitans, entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley venture capitalists are on it.

Backlight: Eurotopia

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The European Union is morally and culturally bankrupt, according to German philosopher and historian Ulrike Guérot. Time to carry the EU project to its grave. Guérot envisions a European republic that consists of 50 regions around clusters of big cities, with a recognizable identity and shared economic and cultural interest. A decisive Europe that reinvents itself.

Backlight: Fake for Real

What is real and what is fake these days? This question presents itself more and more frequently, whether it’s in regard to newspaper photos, designer bags or the human body.

Backlight: Fossil Free

A growing group of concerned citizens no longer trusts politicians to tackle climate change. They now focus on the financial sector and receive help from unexpected sources. Big banks like HSBC, Citibank and the regulating Bank of England recently started to warn against the so-called ‘carbon bubble’. Investing in coal, oil and gas not only causes temperatures to rise, but it also involves substantial financial risks, for pensions for example. Armed with this new weapon, activists are summoning pension funds, universities and other funds to reduce their investments in fossil fuels.

Backlight: Greece for Sale

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Now that a Grexit seems to have been averted, and the strictest cutbacks ever have been announced, Greece is entering a new chapter. The welfare state is dismantled even further and all state property is weighed and sold. What dangers are lurking, and how will the Greek sell out change the country?

Backlight: Greece is the Anwer

Is ailing Greece the start of a new Europe? New economic models arising from the ruins of the bankrupt growth economy, and now citizens take their own control over supply and demand.

Many Greeks are gradually coming to terms with the collapse of a failing social and political system. They are taking matters into their own hands and addressing crucial issues through grassroots activism and local collective action. There are signs of a lifestyle transformation, incorporating values and social patterns of the past.

Backlight: Hotel Europe. Go with the Workflow


Amid protests from citizens and (populist) politicians,t Northern Europe is sending money to the ailing economies of Southern Europe. But wouldn’t it be better to combat the high youth unemployment in the PIGS countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain) with a better international alignment of Europe’s labour market?

Backlight: Human, Gods and Technology

What will our world look like in 25 years’ time? No one knows for sure. By that time our work may have been entirely taken over by autonomic robots. Our world controlled by a single global brain as we are left to be slaves to the technology we were responsible for creating.

Backlight: In Memoriam: Aleksander Litvinenko

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It started as a possible case of food poisoning but within weeks turned into a grim spectacle of enormous political proportions: Aleksander Litvinenko, former member of the Russian secret service, died in his place of residence London in November 2006, after having been poisoned with a radioactive substance.

Backlight: Inside the Banker’s Brain

Joris Luyendijk (journalist/publicist, with a ‘banker’s blog’ for ‘The Guardian’) dives into the financial brain of the London City, and descends into the minds of the master bankers. A study of adrenaline, testosterone, addiction, and the magic of the big bucks.

Backlight: Invasion of the Drones


They fly in swarms, deliver packages and can be as small as insects. Drones are much more than the weapons used by the US Army against terrorists. We see them fly more often and they pop up everywhere in our lives. In the USA, over one million drones were found as toys underneath the Christmas trees.

Backlight: Justice for all


Access to justice: for four billion out of the just over seven billion people on earth this is too expensive, too complicated, blocked by corruption, or simply not available. Lawyers working for the Dutch government devote themselves to the digital innovation of the legal industry. Surprisingly enough, Kenya is a trendsetter in this respect. Under the inspiring guidance of Supreme Court Judge Willy Mutunga, and with the aid of text messaging, smartphones and Twitter, a countrywide network of apps and legal volunteers is built. Injustice is combatted with cell phones instead of law degrees.

Backlight: Making the Future

Decreasing costs of materials and tools, and the availability of all kinds of information mean everyone can become a maker, developer or entrepreneur. Is this mass-production in reverse and the start of a new industrial revolution?

Backlight: Mobile Gold


Our waste is worth money. Recovering it has started up a new global industry worth billions. It is called Urban Mining and it appears to be the solution for many of our environmental problems and our energy needs. A ton of broken mobile phones, computers or other electronic waste contains sixty times the amount of gold a ton of gold ore has.

Backlight: Money for Free

Around the globe, experiments are conducted with alternatives for the existing social security system that has become stuck. People no longer believe in centrally organised long-term planning and advocates are experimenting with handing out free money using every method thinkable. In this episode, VPRO Backlight talks about the need for social security experiments to give people the opportunity to make the most of their own talents and qualities.
Featuring: Guy Standing (economist, UK), Matthias Gijsbertsen (alderman for Social Affairs, Groningen), Albert Wenger (venture investor, New York) and Michael Bohmeyer (IT entrepreneur, Germany).


Backlight: Negotiator in Times of War

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The civil war in Syria is entering its fifth year. The number of refugees leaving hearth and home is taking on unparalleled proportions. In Europe the call for closing the borders is heard and politicians are more and more calling for reception in the region, but what does this actually mean?

Backlight: Next Stop Istanbul

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With neighbouring Syria in ruins and stricken by a civil war, Turkey keeps its borders closed in exchange for billions of euros from the European Union. Many Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans have managed to cross the porous borders and are now in Istanbul, the gateway to Europe. Will they stay there or is crossing to Europe too irresistible?

Backlight: Offline is the New Luxury

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To be online all the time and everywhere. It sounds great, but it has its drawbacks. As digital networks are closing in, there are fewer places to be really on your own. Being offline is becoming a luxury. Where can you be offline? For those who, from time to time, wish to escape smartphone and Wi-Fi signals, VPRO introduces the international White Spots App (only downloadable in the Netherlands).

Backlight: Power to the City

While national governments are mired in party politics and their own bureaucracy, the cities are bursting with energy, optimism and a sense of resolve. Where national governments fail, on a city level many problems – in the fields of the environment, poverty, food production and care – are solved more quickly and together in collaboration with citizens.

Backlight: Race to Space


The colonization of space has only just begun. Numerous parties have great ambitions to explore outer space for tourism, transportation and raw materials. It’s a race, and slowly but surely it’s becoming clear that there is a need for clear rules concerning the entering and use of this space. Space lawyer Frans von der Dunk is currently one of the few people in the world who is trying to shed some light on this.

Backlight: Regreening the desert

For more than 15 years, cameraman and ecologist John D. Liu has been working on his worldwide mission to green deserts and to restore biodiversity.

Backlight: Regreening the Planet

It is really possible! Turning deserts back into fertile agricultural land and, so, together, restoring the planet, the environment, and the economy. And it’s urgently needed, too, for biodiversity is being lost on a large scale. Erosion causes heavy flooding and exhaustion destroys agricultural land.

Backlight: Second Thoughts

The dilemmas surrounding euthanasia are nowhere in the world as openly under discussion as in the Netherlands. However, this does not make the issues any less emotionally charged. Backlight follows the negotiations between a doctor, a patient and the family in an Amsterdam nursing home.

Backlight: Seed Battles


Hidden deep inside a massive mountain in inhospitable Spitsbergen is the most important vault in the world: the Global Seed Vault. It is 20 degrees below zero and the vault is able to withstand earthquakes, floods, missile attacks and nuclear disaster. It’s Noah’s Ark for our food production with the largest diversity in seeds from all over the world, a backup of as many crops as possible and the toolbox for seed breeders. This is vital, for by 2050 there will be 9 billion mouths to feed.

Backlight: Sisters in Islamic banking

Female CEO’s are scarce in the banking world. Surprisingly, in the Malaysian world of Haute Finance female executives are at the forefront. What connects these female professionals is a respect for the Sharia laws and ethics in banking, while at the same living their lives as modern day career women.

Backlight: Still Berning

Bernie Sanders lost the primaries to nominate a US presidential candidate for the Democratic Party to Hillary Clinton. But it was a glorious loss. And it has become a beginning, not an end. The end of the Bernie Sanders campaign marks the start of a political movement. What are the next steps for this movement and what role will it play in future elections? What is its staying power? And how can a new political generation bring democracy back into the hands of the people and make it truly representative?

Backlight: Tech Man


Google Glass is the new smartphone-with-camera-on-the-retina, that listens to spoken commands and adds a permanent, visual layer to reality. It is only the tip of the iceberg. A new generation of omnipresent cameras is creeping into everyday life and gnaws at our perception of reality.

Backlight: The Africa-China Connection

Backlight follows a group of Nigerian immigrants in the Chinese metropolis Guangzhou. This community is at the vanguard of an important trend that will determine the economic and political development in the first half of the 21st century: the flow of migrants from low-wage countries is shifting from the old continent Europe to the new economies in Asia.

Backlight: The Age of Mankind

The destructive influence of mankind caused Dutch scientist Paul Crutzen to introduce a new geological era: the Anthropocene, or the age of man.

Backlight: The Breakthrough in Renewable Energy

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You won’t read about it in the papers, but a silent worldwide revolution is taking place: renewable energy is becoming cheaper than energy from fossil fuels. More and more, opting for wind and solar energy is no longer an ethical choice but an economic one. This will speed up the transfer to renewable energy.

Backlight: The Earth’s Lawyer

Our world knows four international crimes: war crimes, genocide, torture and crimes against humanity. Spanish examining magistrate Baltasar Garzón and Scottish lawyer Polly Higgins believe that this list of serious violations of international law should be expanded with a fifth: ecocide. Will Higgins and Garzón eventually succeed in gaining enough support to get recognition for ecocide, truly putting the large-scale destruction of our ecosystems high on the international political agenda once and for all?

Backlight: The End Of Cheap Nature?

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Everything of value is defenseless. That is especially true when it pertains to nature, which we are losing on a large scale at an accelerated rate. For the global preservation of nature there is 300 billion dollars needed, but worldwide there is only 51 billion being made available per year.

Backlight: The Food Speculator

Assuming the role of a speculator, director Kees Brouwer tries to find out whether he is merely taking advantage of the opportunity offered to investors by the food scarcity, or that, through this abstract world of financial products, he is drastically interfering in poor people’s lives.

Backlight: The Greedy Brain

In  science fiction films the minds of scientists are downloaded into computers and criminal brains are connected with the Internet. Interesting, but how does it work in real life……?

Backlight: The Human Robot

When asked the question how they think of robots western people are rather reluctant, even a little scared. In Japan it’s completely the opposite, the Japanese love robots. In Japan, all objects – robots as well – have a ‘soul’. This means that in Japan intelligent robots will be accepted much easier than in the West. In this VPRO Backlight story director Rob van Hattum investigates the frameworks that determine the boundaries of how we see smart and social robots.

Backlight: The new Silk Route

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The power is shifting from West to East. Until today, the world history was a western-centered enterprise – based on the belief that everyone should be like us, or at least should want to be. According to Frankopan, the West has completely alienated itself from the rest of the world.

Backlight: The new Wisdom of Ricardo Semler


We are smarter than ever, but have we also grown wiser? According to Ricardo Semler, the Brazilian top entrepreneur and philosopher who became immensely rich by making his employees happy, our economy has gone completely off the rails and capitalism has failed to create equality anywhere, ever.

Backlight: The Promised City

On the Western Jordan Banks a wonder takes place. Next year 40,000 people from the new Palestinian middle class will live in the new supercity Rawabi City.

Backlight: The Smart State

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We think new technology is developed by hip companies like Google and Apple. But is this true? VPRO Backlight explores the innovation climate in Europe, to find out what role governments and the private sector play in this. Who finances the development, and who profits from it?

Backlight: The Tax Free Tour

‘Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much?’ Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman, takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.

Backlight: The Value of your personal Data


The personal data that is being collected by internet companies has turned into a goldmine. The applications for this enormous mountain of data is endless, from health care uses to marketeers who can accurately predict your behavior. But who is making money from it? And who is the owner of your personal data?

Backlight: The Wall Street Code


A thriller about a genius algorithm builder who dared to stand up against Wall Street.
From the makers of the much-praised Quants: the Alchemists of Wall Street and Money & Speed: Inside the Black Box. Now the long-awaited final episode of a trilogy in search of the winners and losers of the tech revolution on Wall Street. Could mankind lose control of this increasingly complex system?

Backlight: TTIP Might is Right

The proposed free trade agreement between the US and Europe (TTIP) causes concern about the European right to self-determination. The most controversial part of TTIP is ISDS: investor-state dispute settlement. ISDS will make it possible for companies to sue governments that damage their investments. But is this arbitrage system where a few investment lawyers decide over billions of taxpayers money a protection of our business interests, or a threat to our democracy?

Backlight: Waste = Food

A documentary about the Cradle to Cradle principle: designers and manufacturers should incorporate the recyclability of the materials of which the products are made off.

Backlight: Who owns Football

Large football clubs are bought by foreign businessmen, who are only in it for the money and have no emotional tie to football history whatsoever. The biggest European sport is facing an identity crisis.

Backlight: Youtopia

Shortly before the local elections and inspired by the TV reality show Utopia, Backlight, together with newly-minted professor of community development Justus Uitermark, looks at how people would build their community if they could start afresh.

Backlight: Youtubeland: Like & Subscribe

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YouTube is travelling like a high-speed train into one of the most powerful online platforms in the world. Nowadays nearly every child dreams of becoming rich and famous on the video platform. Which clever earnings model is hiding behind this success story, and how will this affect our future media landscape? A number of professional YouTubers offer a glimpse in the wondrous world of the YouTube industry.

Backlight: Zero Days


There is new gold to be found on the internet, and possibly in your own computer. Secret backdoors, that do not have a digital lock yet, are being traded at astronomical amounts. In the cyber world trade, where there are no rules, you are in luck with “white-hat” hackers, who guard your online security. But their opponents, the “black-hat” hackers, have an interest in an unsecure internet, and sell security leaks to the highest bidder. They are the preferred suppliers of security services and cyber defence. Who are these black and white wizards, who fight for the holy grail of hackers: zero days?

Banking the Unbanked

Is microfinance the answer to poverty? We follow two young ambitious Gambian bankers in their attempts to make Reliance into a steady microfinance institution. Will they succeed in this interesting and expanding market?

Because we were beautiful

Filmmaker Frank van Osch travelled through Indonesia where he searched for former ‘comfort women’, together with photographer Jan Banning (World Press Photo Award 2004) and journalist Hilde Janssen. During the Second World War these women were forced to carry out sexual activities in military brothels, encampments and Japanese barracks.

Bellicher, The Power of Mr. Miller

After the murder of a female colleague, communications consultant Michael Bellicher discovers she was on the track of a terrifying conspiracy. The Miller Network is a group of powerful fundamentalist Christians embroiled in the large-scale falsification of information ultimately aimed at unleashing a civil war against Muslims. When Michael himself is suspected of the murder, he runs. With the police and Huib Breger, the Miller Network’s assassin after him, Michael makes a frantic bid to unmask the conspiracy.


Betrayal is a psychological thriller about an impossible love story from the creators of the award winning tv series Vuurzee I and II.

Better be Different

Robert is always the laughing-stock at school and he decides to do something about it. He wants to change his hair and follows a diet. He also goes to a club were he learns to stand up for himself. But inside he won’t change. He’s proud of what he is and does not want to give that up.

Between Heaven and Earth

Two circus artists, Achat and Tarsun, are forced to choose between continuing the old circus tradition and politics. Their different choices seriously affect their lifelong friendship.

Between the Lights

The sense and atmosphere of this animated film grow out of the play of light and shade, of shapes and movements the starting point being a pillared gallery with a figure.


The number of children that weigh over a hundred kilograms has grown explosively in the Netherlands in the past ten years. No less than one in eight children between 5 and 16 struggle with being overweight or even with (morbid) obesity.


Full of ambition to fight the best in her league female boxer Diana Prazak accepts an invitation by the world’s overall number one and WBC Super feather weight World Champion Frida Wallberg to fight for her title in Frida’s hometown Stockholm.

Blind Fortune

This a film about the blind lottery ticket sellers in Malaga. In every Spanish city, fortune hunters buy their lottery tickets from the blind vendors in their street-corner kiosks. The Vendors work for ONCE, the Spanish national organization for the blind that provides them with employment and education.

Blond Blue Eyes

Rutger Hauer is by far the most famous Dutch actor ever. Forever known for ‘Soldier of Orange’, ‘Turkish Delight’, popular children’s series ‘Floris’ (all by director Paul Verhoeven) and of course ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘The Hitcher’ – titles that go way back.

Blood Relatives

In Blood Relatives we follow the De Winter family, as they struggle to cope with a string of domestic disputes, but where ultimately family ties remain strong and resilient.


Eleven-year-old Colin wants to change his surname. His parents are divorced. He has hardly any contact with his father, which is why he wants to be called by his mother’s name. But according to Dutch law, a child can’t to choose his own name until he is 12. Colin has no idea how his impulsive father will react.

Bon Appétit!

A wealthy man who’s about to enjoy his diner begrudges a vagabond and his companion dog their own, upon which the food itself comes to action.



“When you don’t have papers in this country, you suffer,” as one young Nigerian woman in the Netherlands knows firsthand. When she arrived here, human traffickers forced her to pay back a lot of money, and she was then tricked into prostitution. All she can say from her asylum seeker’s cell is, “I’m not a criminal, but they treat me like garbage.”


A film on poetry, the Russian Mafia, suicide, love and the tragedy of the Perestroika years. A portrait of a young 21st-century poet for whom life became unbearable.


Puberty is not always easy, especially if you are a boy and your classmates are mainly girls. This is the situation for Tom, Borre and Benny in the first year of secondary school. While they want to play in the street they also want to be ‘cool’ and attractive for girls.


The film tells the story of a town where the lives and thoughts of the inhabitants are controlled by two men.

Brush at Sea

Inspired by the art works in a museum, a paint brush starts to paint his own work of art.

Bullied: Justin


Since first grade Justin (10) has been bullied. Almost every day he comes home with bruises or tells his mom that children spat on him. One time, his school mates put a skipping rope around his neck and tie him to a climbing frame.
Justin changes school but unfortunately the bullying has continued. Even at the soccer team he is tormented by team mates.
Justin asks himself ‘Why me?’ And why can’t his parents help me?

Bullied: Lwiza


Lwiza is twelve-years-old and about to leave primary school. She has been bullied her entire school life. In the beginning she was bullied because she was considered being too fat. Later on because she started having pimples. Lwiza doesn’t understand why her school mates bully her. There is nothing she can do about it. But there are days she would love to be skinny.

In the old days Lwiza got angry and upset but now she tries to ignore the bullying. By making proper observations she invented a theory to prevent the bullying. Will this new theory help her at secondary school?

Butterfly R.I.P. 1975

Because of the growing urbanization, there’s no longer room for nature – but in a museum…

Bye, Bye

Eleven-years-old Denise is going to emigrate to France were her parents bought a camping site. Before she leaves she organises a farewell party to say goodbye to all her Dutch friends but she’s not happy at all. She feels very insecure about this new country were she has to go to a new school and doesn’t speak the language.

Cap or Kippah

Cap or Kippah is about a child living in two worlds. In the one, he prefers to cover up the fact that he’s Jewish, in the other he comes clean about it.


Animated in clay, “Capriccio” is a film about a young girl and three fun-loving musical creatures who fly in and out of her life as she pursues a career in classical music.

Caps Club

The Caps Club I – the Mystery of the King of Spades (series for age 7-14) exists of five children and was founded by Tom and Sam. Tom always wears a cap, and therefore is nicknamed Cappie. This explains the origin of the name of this special club. From the secret tree hut, named The Caps Hut, they will solve the Mystery of the King of Spades. It all begins when a painting is stolen and the discovery of a strange device and six playing cards.


At the music of “Caravan” lines and shapes move in an abstract landscape.


A gypsy village is suddenly confronted with huge dilemmas after they are portrayed as backward people from Kazachstan in the motion picture ‘Borat’.

Carnival Shout, The

“Joelfeest” (The Carnival Shout) is an animated film about the development of carnival through the ages, from heathen times until the present day.


A little pencil-drawn man is threatened by an eraser until he is redrawn in ink. Paper, however, remains vulnerable.

Chasing a Million

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Can you make a fortune by swapping one thing for another? Albert and Stefan believe it can be done. They start their experiment with a free rabbit from a second-hand goods website. What follows is an unusual and highly unpredictable adventure. Within three years – and against all odds – they swap to a luxurious appartment on a ski-slope in Southern Germany.

Chenelva & Sheneeva


In this youth documentary (14′) we meet with Chenelva and Sheneeva, the conjoined twins who live in Amsterdam and are joined at the back of their heads. Despite their disability they hold a surprisingly positive view on life.

Cherry Flip

This is the story of Sharon Resseler and her passion for figure skating. She and seven other girls are getting ready for the Dutch National Youth Selection Games. She and her best friend Nathalie always fight for the first and second place. Just like today, during the National Championship. 

Clothes on, Clothes off

Twelve-year-old Frans faces a dilemma. Her parents are nudists and every year the family goes to a nudist campsite. In the past Frans didn’t have any problems with it, but now, as an adolescent, she has no desire to be subjected to the searching gazes of other campsite guests. But she doesn’t want to disappoint her parents either.

Comings & Goings


Comings & Goings (1) What’s the influence of stress on our relationships and ourselves? Modern society makes us believe that standing still is equal to decline. Anneloor van Heemstra examines the impact of stress on her personal life, and where do her ambitions come from?


How someone finds consolation amongst his self-caused unpleasant circumstances.


An animated bullfight, which takes an unexpected turn.

Criss Cross

Jurre and Kiki (8) are constantly squabbling. Their parents are divorced. Spending a lot of time with their grandpa, they regard his house as their real home, even since they’ve moved with their mother to Ibiza.
But after grandpa suffers from an accident and his house is put for sale, the kids return to the Netherlands to help him. Without money they start their trip criss cross through Europe. They meet colourful people and experience the wildest adventures, which makes them learn a lot about themselfves and each other. But will they be on time to prevent the house from being sold?


Against pastel coloured backgrounds two cubes come to life through a toy snow dome.


A short animated film about the high expectations with which parents can burden their children.

Daddy Doll


This is a documentary about family-life inside the United States military. Through cinematographic observation a portrait of a military family, living on a US army base in Louisiana has been made.

Dalai Lama in the Netherlands


His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the 78 year old spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, visited the Netherlands from 10 till 12 May 2014.

Dancing with Style


In this documentary we see the fourteen-year-old Eugène who has been dancing since he was six. Not really something boys should be doing, at least, that’s what his classmates say. Although Eugène is bullied at school because he likes ballroom dancing, he won’t be put out of his stride. This year, he’s going to show the whole school that he’s a really good dancer and he won’t be put down. Will Eugène succeed in convincing his schoolmates that ballroom dancing isn’t silly? A film about Eugène dancing his way back to self-confidence.

Days at the Lennon Park

Juan, aged 95, works as a custodian at the John Lennon park in Havana. The park is like a little metaphor for Cuba, as an (socialistic) island where people live their lives and where Lennon is a link to the outside world but at the same time the embodiment of dreams and ideals. His job is to put on Lennon’s (famous round) glasses on the statue in the park, visited and photographed by tourists from all over the world. Every day Juan is accompanied by other park ‘residents’. To each and every one of them the statue has its own meaning.

To Ondina, it represents the ideals of the Cuban Revolution, to Rodolpho, a veteran, it symbolizes Lennon’s heroism as ‘peace activist’, to Ernesto the statue feels like an old friend and to Juan …… it’s a way to make money and an opportunity to meet women.


A secret team, a team with secrets

Deadline is a thrilling action series about the war on terror.

Over the course of 24 gripping episodes, a secret anti-terrorism team comes into operation, waging an almost invisible battle against impending terrorist attacks.

Debt Society

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In a working-class neighborhood in North Amsterdam, almost everyone is deep in debt. Every month a parade of heavies, a bailiff, a police officer and a locksmith moves through the streets to evict people from their homes.

Demons of the new Freedom

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A documentary about the Buddhist violence against the Muslim minority in Myanmar (Burma). An activist monk and a young interfaith campaigner try to stop the xenophobia. According to the two main characters, the democratic future of their country is at stake.


This is a four part series on the fate of deported children of asylum-seekers in the Netherlands. Over the past ten years, many hundreds of children have been deported to countries they have little or no memory of, their parents having sought political asylum in the Netherlands but ultimately been rejected, leaving them the choice of leaving voluntarily in exchange for money or being forcibly deported by the Dutch government. Politically responsible administrators guaranteed that these children would be fine in the country of their parents. But virtually nothing is known about what actually happened to them after their deportation.

This series tells the story of deported children in  Iraq, Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, and Kosovo.

Dirty Window

In the night of the 18th of February 2009, 19-year-old prostitute Betty Szabó was murdered in her room in Amsterdam.

DNA Dreams


What if we could identify the genes for human intelligence? Would a brave new world of improved human beings be waiting for us? The documentary DNA Dreams features a new generation of scientists at BGI, China’s leading genomics research institute.

Don’t lose Heart


Hella de Jonge didn’t always get on with her 88-year-old father. When he had to move recently, she acquired the legacy of her great aunt, who survived the Nazi terror along with Hella’s parents. A publicity photo from 1885 of her great-grandfather as part of a comic duo then inspired Hella to investigate the history of her family.