Archive of films Sportsman of the Century / Sportman van de Eeuw

Netherlands / Germany / Sweden
2006, 97 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2006

In 2000 a panel of experts is to select the Sportsman of the Century. No-one has heard of a man called Taeke Jongsma who has, however, excelled in an unusual sport – pole-sitting – and, in particular, in the art of transforming himself at the right moment from a mere observer of life into its direct participant. A poetic tragicomedy about one human life in an original film reflection by debuting director Mischa Alexander.


In 2000 a panel of experts is to select the Dutch Sportsman of the Century. Sake Wiarda nominates a sportsman named Taeke Jongsma, whom no-one has ever heard of, yet has apparently excelled in an unusual sport – pole-sitting. He tells his story… Taeke is the son of a poor villager who, in order to distance himself from his bleak surroundings, indulges in a sport popular in his native Frisia. His seemingly idyllic childhood and adolescence in the 1930s and 1940s are blighted by the reality of unemployment and war. The test of patience and balance, in which he has gradually managed to beat his rivals, becomes Taeke’s destiny. He finds the sense to life in serenely observing the calm surface of the water which surrounds his pole, the migration of birds, the changes in the weather and the seasons…But when he falls for the lovely Tjitske and despises his rich adversary in love Rintje, Taeke has to decide whether he can continue to be a mere passive observer of the world…A poetic tragicomedy about one human life in an original film reflection by debuting director Mischa Alexander.

About the director

Mischa Alexander

Mischa Alexander (b. 1962, Amsterdam) has had a versatile screenwriting education (incl. screenwriting workshops with Robert McKee, František Daniel and Dwight Bolinger). He took an intensive course in film direction at New York University and gained experience sharing in the TV series Bradaz and Costa! (both 2002). He also wrote the scripts for the films Team Spirit (dir. Jean Verheyen, 2000) and All Stars (dir. Jean van de Velde, 1997 – Rembrandt award for the most popular Dutch film), and the stories for Football Days (Días de fútbol, dir. David Serrano, 2003), Full Moon Party (Volle maan, dir. Johan Nijenhuis, 2002), Love Trap (Feestje, dir. Ruud van Hemert, 2004) and Ellis in Glamourland (dir. Pieter Kramer, 2004). The tragicomedy Sportsman of the Century, for which he also wrote the script, is his feature film debut.


PV Pictures
Sumatralaan 45/ES2, 1217 GP, Hilversum
Tel: +31 35 677 4776
Fax: +31 35 677 4562
E-mail: [email protected]

CinemArt, a.s.
Národní 60/28, 111 21, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 949 110
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Another View
Director: Mischa Alexander
Screenplay: Mischa Alexander
Dir. of Photography: Bert Pot
Music: Zbigniew Preisner
Editor: Charlotte van der Veen
Producer: Paul Voorthuysen
Production: PV Pictures
Cast: Jochum ten Haaf, Ricki Koole, Bastiaan Ragas
Contact: PV Pictures
Distributor: CinemArt, a.s.


Mischa Alexander

Film Director


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