Everyone knew: my family, neighbours, friends. Even the children at school knew the truth about my father’s death. Only his two
daughters and his son were ignorant about what really happened.
”Dad had an accident and he’s dead.” Those were the last words my mother spoke about my father.
Twenty-three years after Wim van Hoewijk died, I found out that,
all those years, I had been led to believe a lie.
When the truth dawned, I only wanted one thing: to find out that which I should never have known.



2001 / 35 mm / 54 minutes



photography                    Peter Brugman n.s.c

sound  recording             Tom d'Angremond

editing                             Charlotte Bogaert, Jaap van Hoewijk

                                        Emile Bensdorp

music                              Joke Geraets

sound design                  Hugo Dijkstal

producers                       Jan Heijs & Ruud Monster

                                       JURA Filmprodukties

tv network                       NCRV Dokument

commisioning editor       Ger van Dongen




international sales          DOC&Co

‘Family Secret’ is a ghastly film, in which the director reconstructs the true facts surrounding the long concealed secret about his father's suicide.

'Family Secret' is a film which reflects something of the how and why of all family secrets. The film paints a painful picture of the respected Dutch sobriety and to what kind of mischief this may lead. On the other hand ‘Family Secret’ simply tells a chilling and thrilling story.




‘Family Secret’ is a film like an onion, in which reality is peeled off, layer by layer. And leaves the viewer completely bewildered.

NFF - Oene Kummer



The reason for his suicide is slowly explained in detail, in a thriller-like structure. Courageously coherent, Van Hoewijk even builds an exciting story, based on his father’s tragic decision. ‘Family secret’ leaves room for the actual stories of family members and other witnesses, such as the ranger and the hiker who found his father. In an eerily precise manner, all those facts and details, however gruesome, give a face to the past.


FILMKRANT - Mariska Graveland