Paul en Paul

Hugo Drechsler (Director Documentary), Thijmen Knook (Production), and Joey Jansen (Production) have graduated with the documentary 'Paul en Paul'. 

When Paultje (61) is informed in prison that his time is running out, he has only one option: to return to his old home in Amsterdam-Noord, with his standoffish brother Paul (79). As time passes, will their troubled brotherhood, rooted in a dark family history, finally undergo a transformation?

The filmmakers, reflecting on their project, shared, "Hugo Dreschler built a deep bond of trust with the two brothers, Paul and Paul, during his studies and used his time at the Film Academy to explore their relationship. The fascination for these two brothers began as early as the second year of study. They stood out to the outside world because of their eccentric lifestyles. They seemed to do as they pleased, but above all, they had a special bond with each other. Despite being elderly, they lived together in a working-class house in Amsterdam North and often quarreled. But what kept them together and why did they not break off contact? This graduation work is more than just a graduation project; it has grown into a larger project from which valuable friendships have emerged. It has also shown us the impact intergenerational trauma can have on bereaved families, and we will continue to follow and support Paul and Paul in their life choices at any cost."

The film was made in collaboration with BNNVARA.


"In addition to the absurdity and humor of the film, the team has also succeeded in maintaining a sensitive, empathetic perspective on these awkward men."


Astrid Bussink, lecturer, and documentary coach at the Netherlands Film Academy, expressed, "This documentary has already stirred a lot of controversy. It is an extraordinary portrait of two brothers who - to put it mildly - are not used to talking about feelings. This film focuses on the brotherhood of the two main characters and the intergenerational traumas that stand between them. It delivers a gripping, raw yet sensitive film that hits the viewer right in the heart. In a time where polarization and misunderstanding of each other is the order of the day, Paul and Paul is a plea to keep looking at each other with patience. To accept that we differ, but ultimately yearn for the same thing: to be seen and accepted."

Joost Broeren-Huitenga, Ruud Vos, and Ronald Glasbergen, representing the Kring van Nederlandse Filmjournalisten, remarked, "Shot in beautiful black-and-white, director Hugo Drechsler's Paul and Paul is a technically perfect documentary about two brothers with a complicated relationship, to say the least. Each new family secret unearthed builds this into a solid piece of 'stranger than fiction.' This film's choice of subject matter, interaction between image and sound, and its narrative structure cannot help but inspire admiration. Unanimously, the jury decided on the film that is most sad, shocking, and endearing. The film in which the solid visual style choices fall completely into place with the telling of a story whose frenzied whimsy is impossible to ignore."


Director Hugo Drechsler
Dramaturgy Nadine Jansen, LemuĂ«l de Graav
Productions Joey Jansen, Thijmen Knook
Cinematography Hugo van Roosmalen
Montage Coen Hagenaars
VFX Supervision Anne Dirkx, Bart Griepink, Bo Schutte
Sound Design Pim Stoltz
Mixage Camiel Muiser
Audio recording Mark Dijkstra
Composer Gregory Ney
Post-production Coordination Joey Jansen, Thijmen Knook


Foley Artists Mark Dijkstra, Angelina de Braekeleer, Nynke Spanjer | Archive research Lin Bartraij, Koen Hueber | Production assistant Eva Belfort, Pablo Sarno | VFX Artists Tim Okker, May Therat | Title design Judith Glimmerveen | Colour correction The Ambassadors - Amy Besate

With: Paulus, Paulus and Jannie

A project by:

Hugo Dreschler (Direction Documentary), Thijmen Knook (Productions) and Joey Jansen (Productions)