A Butcher’s Heart

13-year-old Wessel is learning the tricks of the butcher trade from his patient grandfather, who assumes that his grandson will take over the family business. Wessel isn’t convinced— maybe he’d prefer to work with living animals. We learn that Wessel used to be bullied by classmates regarding his father’s profession. He questions their hypocrisy; do they think meat grows on trees? While the slaughterhouse scenes focus on the artisanal side of the business, the film also emphasizes the enormous freedom given to teenagers living in the countryside—where boys race around on their four-wheelers and breed rabbits for slaughter.

by Marijn Frank
Holland, 2017


Marijn Frank (1982) graduated in 2007 with the prize-winning documentary “Daddy has gone and left me puzzled”. In 2012 she made the youth documentary “Bente’s Voice” and in 2015 the feature length documentary “Need for Meat”, which was shown on many international festivals. Since 2009 Frank is also known as presenter of television program Keuringsdienst van Waarde, De Rekenkamer en the series Het beloofde land.

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