Tribeca Awards Carice Van Houten for “Black Butterflies”


In a daring role portraying the darkly infamous poet from South Africa, Dutch actress nailed it in the eyes of the jury. The jury commented, “There are a million colors in this complicated performance. We award this honor for bravery and fragility, and for showing tremendous range and strength throughout”. There are a lot of words in that comment that many actors hope to hear after diving into a character as rich and dark as Ingrid Jonker, the troubled poet known for her great work, but for many people more well-known for killing herself by drowning in the ocean. In Paula van der Oest’s , Van Houten found her character with strength worthy of the award for Best Actress in a Narrative Feature Film.

Born in the Netherlands, Van Houten had an affinity for American silent comedies that included greats like Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy, so it’s a wonder how she ended up in such a dark and dramatic role. She even played a part in a parody of City Lights. She has an extensive background in straight theater and even musicals, no doubt spawned from her early days as a musician playing the clarinet. She is most well-known for her role as Suzy in Suzy Q, a popular a critically acclaimed film directed by Martin Koolhaven, and they’ve continued to collaborate over the past decade. Let’s hope Black Butterflies finds fair distribution so many people have a chance to see Carice Van Houten’s wonderful performance.

Written by Chris Loud

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