Character is a film by Mike Van Diem, he is  a Dutch filmmaker who has had much critical success in America as well as in his native Europe.  He was a movie buff growing up and when you see his directorial style that is very apparent.  ?He spent some time writing as a movie critic for a local paper.  After short films of his became a success he worked his way into Dutch TV.  Building off od these accomplishments he was able to create his first full length feature, "Character."
Mike Van Diem 1959-
Character: plot summary and themes:
"Character" tells the story of a boy who's mother raises him by herself.  Even by doing this the effect his Father has on his life is greater than anything else.  When a young Jacob Willem decides he is going to make something of himself his father, the baliff Dreverhaven puts him through many obstacles.  He later syas this was to test his will but it leads to Jacob resenting him till the end of Dreverhaven's life.
Dreverhaven- Successful Baliff and father to Jacob.
Jacob- the main character of the movie, he is an aspiring banker and attorney who is raised by his mother alone.
Joba- Jacob's mother who had a one night stand with Dreverhaven resulting in Jacob.
De Gankelaar- Jacob's boss and mentor at the local bank.
Lorna te George- works with Jacob and he develops a crush on her.

Style, Techniques and key words:
Van Diem's film has a very American feel to it.  It is very dark and has a great feel regarding the flow and organization of the shots.The most notable style he uses is flashback.  Van Diem shoots the same scene in two very different ways.  Once at the beginning where we see the shot from Jacob's perspective, and then once at the end where the point of view is much more in the third person.  By doing this at the beginning we are allowed into Jacob's point of view and at the end we are able to make our own conclusions.
Study Questions:
- Is Jacob who he is because of his mother or his father, is it a combination of the two?  Why?

-What happens to Jacob at the end of the movie?  Will the fact that he is suddenly wealthy affect his drive and determination to succeed on his own?

-What do you think would have happened had Jacob found love with Lorna?  would he have been happy?

-What makes Van Diem's style so easy to watch?  Do you agree with the above statement that he has a very American style?
Works Cited/Links: All info taken from and can be viewed at: