Mothers (VPRO Extra)


Mothers (VPRO Extra)

Nirit Peled


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Mothers (VPRO Extra)
Nirit Peled

Four Amsterdam mothers explain how their sons got in trouble with the law and were subjected to a stigmatizing crime prevention program. Despite their powerlessness and frustration, they keep fighting for their children.

Festival IDFA

Run time 81 minutes
Genre film
Language Dutch, with English subtitles

World premiere


Four mothers explain how their sons ended up in trouble with the law because they fell in with the wrong crowd, experienced trauma or were intimidated by a gang. The offenses are minor, and their involvement was not always proven—sometimes they were only witnesses to a crime. But once Amsterdam’s Top400 crime prevention program has them in its sights, things just get worse for them.The mothers are held hostage by a bureaucracy that entirely disrupts family life. Friends and family see them as bad parents, and the police sometimes even treat them as accomplices.
To protect their identity, the mothers themselves don’t appear on camera, but we do hear their voices. Their roles are played by actresses who lip-sync their stories. These stories are not only an expression of frustration, anger and a sense of powerlessness, but also an indictment of the use of algorithms for the prediction of criminal behaviour. This form of crime prevention has a particularly stigmatizing effect and discriminates against socially and economically underprivileged young people from migrant backgrounds.


Director Nirit Peled
Production Katja Draaijer for BALDR Film
Cinematography Gregor Meerman
Editing Patrick Janssens, Tessel de Vries
Sound Matthijs Klein, Taco Drijfhout
Sound Design Evelien van der Molen
Music Alex Simu
Involved TV Channel VPRO
Screening copy BALDR Film


IDFA stands for the power of creative documentary. Documentaries that can connect, inspire and excite. Documentaries that expand the view of ourselves, the environment and the world around us. During this edition of the festival, ITA hosts daily screenings of documentaries and special performances.

See the entire IDFA programme