Pieter van Huystee Film
Noordermarkt 37-39, 1015 NA Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 421 0606
Fax: +31 20 638 6255
Dutch with English subtitles
Land of origin
Director & Screenplay
Director of Photography
Erik van Empel
2nd Unit Camera
Pieter van Huystee
Rosan Boersma, Sylvia Baan
Annemiek van der Zanden (NPS)
Limburgs Museum, Gerard Nijssen, Erik Klöpping
This film is supported by
NPS, Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund
IDFA documentary workshop 2007
Simone Merkus / Pieter van Huystee Film
Phone: +31 20 421 0606
Publicity & World sales
Curien Kroon / Pieter van Huystee Film
Phone: +31 20 421 0606
As Dorus matures into his second year his owner has to decide whether the love for the pig runs deeper than the love for its meat. Despite its worldwide popularity, many find the pig unclean. Divine Pig takes a closer look at this most controversial animal, challenging our feelings about the pig and Dorus' fate.
In many parts of the world the pig is considered harm full and impure. But still, the pig is the most-eaten animal in the world. Will Dorus be an exception?
Dorus is a pig living in the back yard of Gerard Zwetsloot, a free-range butcher. During their walks together through the Netherlands Dorus becomes a local celebrity. Some customers try to discourage the butcher from killing Dorus. Others look forward to tasting its rich meat. As Dorus matures into his second year and reaches the point of slaughter, the butcher faces a difficult choice. Does his love for the pig runs deeper than his love of pork?
Divine Pig explores this controversial animal and challenges our cultural assumptions and tastes.
A Palestinian woman married to a Dutchman discusses with her religious mother whether she should forbid her young son to eat pork. A Christian university doctor strictly observes the Jewish food laws, but despite his efforts to prove differently, cannot find evidence that pork is unhealthy. A medical researcher is working on a revolutionary cure for diabetes transplanting pig cells into humans. But for every patient he must kill five pigs.
From every angle, our feelings for the pig and for Dorus' fate are challenged. Will Dorus survive the film? By the time we learn of his fate, where do our sympathies lie?
April 10, 2010 Worldpremiere Full Frame Festival, Durham, VS
Sept 28, 2010 Dutch Premiere, Nederlands Film Festival, Utrecht. The Netherlands
Okt 28-30, 2010 Taiwan Int. Documentary Filmfestival - winner of Merit Award
Nov 13, Noorderlijk Filmfestival, Leeuwarden
Nov 18 & 22, 2010 International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam
Febr 15, 2011 Berlinale - Culinary Cinema
March 18, 2011, Openingsfilm Food Film Festival Amsterdam
March 2011, Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
March 2011, Cine es Cena, Tenerife
Sept 2011, Korean International Documentary Festival
Oct 2011, Beirut International Filmfestival
Nov 1-3 2011, Link TV, Doc-debut (digital channel, USA only)
Nov 12 2011, Slow Motion Film Festival, Canada
Dec 8 2011, Athens: Exile Room 21.00 hrs
Yance Ford, series producer POV
One of my favorite documentaries at FULL FRAME 2010:
“Divine Pig — a hilarious and genuine discovery.”
LaLa commented on her blog http://shangri-la-la.blogspot.com
‘I did not plan on seeing Divine Pig this morning, but I am so glad I did. It was not an uplifting documentary, but it was an incredible journey through, well the life of a pig sure, but also a tender insight into human nature in relation to tradition, survival and cultural pressures; each ultimately stemming back to the root of the family. It was less about our food per se and more about how we make the decisions that shape us all. It was a very well-made production and inclusion of central characters other than the butcher Gerard Zwetsloot allowed it to be more powerful than what some may have thought it might be, just another take on Babe. If you are squeamish about meat though, you might want to avoid this rare look at the humane side of small-town butchery’.
Basil Tsiokos, Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance, recommends DIVINE PIG. "An unusually charming story about the strange bond between a butcher and a pig which may or may not end up slaughtered. A strong film that has already made brief appearances on the festival circuit in the US and elsewhere and shouldn't be overlooked”.
Joe Corey, on the ‘Party-Favors’ website:
‘This masterful documentary follows a Dutch butcher that raises a pig ever two years in order to provide high quality pork for his shop. The last few pigs have been bought and put into a pig sanctuary to live out their lives. Will the most recent pig get the same reprieve or will it be sausage? The movie explores whether the pig is truly an unclean animal as depicted by various religions. This is the greatest film about pork’.
FULL FRAME Festival Programmer Stephanie Barnwell wrote:
‘Gerard Zwetsloot is a free-range butcher living in a small Dutch town who thinks the meat of a happy pig tastes better, and so he raises his own. From piglet to sausage, he takes every step of his craft seriously: carving, grinding, and encasing every last bit. But he also has a soft spot for his lovable yet tasty companions. His newest swine, Dorus, accompanies Gerard for walks around town, stopping to wallow in sand at the beach. He has stolen the townspeople’s hearts, but what will become of him? Following Gerard and Dorus over the course of a year, the film documents Gerard’s fluctuating feelings toward his product-turned-pet. Woven throughout are interviews with people who have very different relationships to pigs and pork, including Dafne Westerhof, who runs the Promised Pig Land sanctuary, where two of Gerard’s former porkers now live. An ode to a seemingly bygone era of production as craft, the film also looks at how complicated and personal our relationship to our food can be’.
Jake Jacobson, chief-entertainment Westwood One/CBS Radio:
“I found the film uniquely captivating and engrossing up to the end. A stark and revealing exercise in the hypocracy of pork as food and/or friend, the mentality of a butcher simply doing his job, and those who anthropomorphize animals while enjoying their culinary delights.”
REACTIONS FROM TAIWAN:
The beautiful music for this music was composed by www.dekift.nl
For delicious home made sausages and bacon www.scharrelslagerijzwetsloot.nl
Visit Dafne Westerhofs' "Pig Heaven" www.familiebofkont.nl
The butcher in the spotlights www.rtvutrecht.nl/nieuws/262086
Special Thanks To
Sahar Haj Kasem
Pa and Ma Dortmans
Twitters about DIVINE PIG ’s worldpremiere on FULL FRAME, Durham USA, 7-11 april 2010:
DukeMagazine: RT @felkerfollow: Back after great fullframe. Favs.: Last Train Home, La Belle Visite, Restrepo, Capital, The Oath, Waste Land, Divine Pig about 18 hours ago from HootSuite
pattychasevan: So many great films 2day at Full Frame! I saw Genius Within & Strange Powers; also heard great things about The Poot, Divine Pig ... 2 days ago from web
gincoolette: @DornStar1 that s funny u mentioned pork chops I just watched the Divine Pig. 2 days ago from TweetDeck
FullFrameFan: RT @jaredhogan: "divine pig" was amazing. a must see. #fullframe #film #documentary #durhamnc 2 days ago from HootSuite
MeghanSherrill: Just started crying while I was gushing to Hans about how much I loved his film 'Divine Pig'. How embarrassing. 2 days ago from web
jaredhogan: "divine pig" was amazing. a must see.
INTERVIEW WITH HANS DORTMANS