|Cause of death Assassinated|
Name Theo Gogh
Monuments The Scream
Role Film director
|Residence Amsterdam, Netherlands|
Children Liewe van Gogh
Siblings Josien van Gogh
|Full Name Theodoor van Gogh|
Born 23 July 1957 (1957-07-23) The Hague, Netherlands
Died 2 November 2004(2004-11-02) (aged 47) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Occupation Film director Film producer Television director Television producer Television presenter Screenwriter Actor Critic Interviewer Author Columnist Blogger Activist
Assassinated November 2, 2004, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Albums Een Verdeeld Genoegen (De Liederlijke Liederen), Leen uw oor aan Van Gogh
Movies Submission, Interview, 06/05, Blind Date, 1‑900
Similar People Mohammed Bouyeri, Pim Fortuyn, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Theodor Holman, Hans Teeuwen
A tribute to theo van gogh film director
Theodoor "Theo" van Gogh ( [ˈteːjoː vɑŋ ˈɣɔx]; 23 July 1957 – 2 November 2004) was a Dutch film director, film producer, television director, television producer, television presenter, screenwriter, actor, critic and author.
- A tribute to theo van gogh film director
- Submission le court metrage de theo van gogh
- Early life
- Personal life
- Legacy and honors
- Unfinished projects
Van Gogh worked with the Somali-born writer and politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali to produce the short film Submission (2004), which criticized the treatment of women in Islam and resulted in an outrage from the Dutch Muslim community. On 2 November 2004, Van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim who objected to the controversial film. The last film Van Gogh had completed before his death, 06/05, was a fictionalized exploration of the assassination of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn (1948-2002) which was released in December 2004, a month following van Gogh's murder.
Submission le court metrage de theo van gogh
Theo van Gogh was born on 23 July 1957 in The Hague, Netherlands to Anneke and Johan van Gogh. His father served in the Dutch secret service ('AIVD', then called 'BVD'). He was named after his paternal uncle Theo, who was captured and executed while working as a resistance fighter during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II. Theo van Gogh was the great-grandson of Theo van Gogh, the brother of painter Vincent van Gogh.
After dropping out of law school at the University of Amsterdam, van Gogh became a stage manager. His self-proclaimed passion was film-making, and he made his debut as a director with the movie Luger (1981). He was awarded a Gouden Kalf for Blind Date (1996) and In het belang van de staat ("In the Interest of the State," 1997). For the latter, he also received a "Certificate of Merit" from the San Francisco International Film Festival. As an actor, he appeared in the film, De noorderlingen ("The Northerners", 1992). He made numerous films (see below), many on political themes. From the 1990s, van Gogh worked in television.
His last book (2003) was Allah weet het beter ("Allah Knows Best"), in which he strongly condemned Islam. He was a well-known critic of Islam, particularly after the September 11 attacks in the United States. He supported the nomination of writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali for the Dutch parliament, who was elected. Born in Somalia, she had immigrated to the Netherlands to escape an arranged marriage. She became a writer and liberal (former PvdA Labour Party) politician.
In the 1980s, Van Gogh became a newspaper columnist. Through the years he used his columns to express his frustration with politicians, actors, film directors, writers and other people he considered to be part of "the establishment". He delighted in provocation and became a controversial figure, frequently criticizing Islamic cultures. He used his website, De Gezonde Roker ("The Healthy Smoker"), to express harsh criticism of multicultural society. He said the Netherlands was so rife with social turmoil that it was in danger of turning into "something Belfast-like".
Working from a script written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, van Gogh created the 10-minute short film Submission. The movie deals with violence against women in some Islamic societies; it tells the stories, using visual shock tactics, of four abused Muslim women. The title, Submission, is a translation of the word "Islam" into English. In the film, women's naked bodies, with texts from the Qur'an written on them in henna, in an allusion to traditional wedding rituals in some cultures, are veiled with semi-transparent shrouds as the women kneel in prayer, telling their stories as if they are speaking to Allah.
In August 2004, after the movie's broadcast on Dutch public TV, the newspaper De Volkskrant reported that the journalist Francisco van Jole had accused Hirsi Ali and Van Gogh of plagiarism, saying that they had appropriated the ideas of Iranian-American video artist Shirin Neshat, whose work used Arabic text projected onto bodies.
Following the broadcast, both van Gogh and Hirsi Ali received death threats. Van Gogh did not take the threats seriously and refused any protection. According to Hirsi Ali, he said, "Nobody kills the village idiot", a term he frequently used about himself.
Van Gogh was a member of the Dutch Republican society Republikeins Genootschap, which advocates the abolition of the Dutch monarchy. He was a friend and supporter of the controversial Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, who was assassinated in 2002.
Van Gogh was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri while cycling to work on 2 November 2004 at about 9 o'clock in the morning, in front of the Amsterdam East borough office (stadsdeelkantoor), on the corner of the Linnaeusstraat and Tweede Oosterparkstraat (52°21′32.22″N 4°55′34.74″E). The killer shot Van Gogh eight times with an HS2000 handgun. Bouyeri was also on a bicycle and fired several bullets, hitting Van Gogh and two bystanders. Wounded, Van Gogh ran to the other side of the road and fell to the ground on the cycle lane. According to eyewitnesses, Van Gogh's last words were "Don't do it, don't do it" or "Have mercy, have mercy, don't do it, don't do it". Bouyeri walked up to Van Gogh, who was on the ground, and calmly shot him several more times at close range.
Bouyeri cut Van Gogh’s throat with a large knife and tried to decapitate him, after which he stabbed the knife deep into Van Gogh's chest, reaching his spinal cord. He attached a note to the body with a smaller knife. Van Gogh died on the spot. The two knives were left implanted. The note was addressed to and contained a death threat to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who went into hiding. It also threatened Western countries and Jews, and referred to ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra.
The killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan citizen, was apprehended by police after a chase, during which he was shot in the leg. Authorities have alleged that Bouyeri has terrorist ties with the Dutch Islamist Hofstad Network. He was charged with the attempted murder of several police officers and bystanders, illegal possession of a firearm, and conspiring to murder others, including Hirsi Ali. He was convicted at trial on 26 July 2005 and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
The murder sparked a violent storm of outrage and grief throughout the Netherlands. Flowers, notes, drawings and other expressions of mourning were left at the scene of the murder.
The cremation ceremony took place on 9 November. Fearing he might not survive a planned flight to New York, Van Gogh had spoken about his funeral wishes with friends shortly before his death. Maarten van Rossem was asked by Van Gogh's relatives to speak, something he found difficult in that he wanted to avoid sounding apocalyptic. Van Gogh's father suggested that his son would have liked the media attention provoked by his murder.
The day after the murder, Dutch police arrested eight Muslims allegedly belonging to a group later referred to as the Hofstad Network. Six detainees were Dutch-Moroccans, one was Dutch-Algerian, and one had dual Spanish-Moroccan nationality. The Dutch Complaints Bureau for Discrimination on the Internet (MDI) received many complaints about websites allegedly praising the murder and making death threats against other people.
At the same time, starting with four attempted arson attacks on mosques in the weekend of 5–7 November, there were retaliatory violent incidents against Muslims. The Dutch Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia recorded a total of 106 violent incidents in November against Muslim targets. The National Dutch Police Services Agency (KLPD) recorded 31 occasions of violence against mosques and Islamic schools between 23 November and 13 March 2005. An arson attack destroyed a Muslim primary school in Uden in December 2004. By 8 November, Christian churches were reported as targets of vandalism and arson attacks in turn. A report for the Anne Frank Foundation and the University of Leiden, accounted for a total of 174 violent incidents between 2–30 November; it said that mosques were the target of violence 47 times, and churches 13 times.
The murder widened and polarized the debate in the Netherlands about the social position of its more than one million Muslim residents. In an apparent reaction against controversial statements about the Islamic, Christian, and Jewish religions—such as those Van Gogh was renowned for—the Dutch Minister of Justice, Christian Democrat Piet Hein Donner, suggested Dutch blasphemy laws should either be applied more stringently or made more strict. The liberal D66 party suggested scrapping the blasphemy laws altogether.
Geert Wilders, an Independent Dutch member of parliament, advocated a five-year halt to immigration from non-Western societies, saying: "The Netherlands has been too tolerant to intolerant people for too long. We should not import a retarded political Islamic society into our country".
Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali went into hiding for several weeks. Wilders has been under the protection of bodyguards ever since, and Hirsi Ali eventually relocated to the United States.
Theo van Gogh's son claims he has been attacked on several occasions by young people of Moroccan and Turkish descent, and that the police did not provide him with help or protection. The police denied receiving any report of attacks.
Legacy and honors
In the English-speaking world, controversy arose after Rohan Jayasekera's article on Van Gogh was published in Index on Censorship. The Associate Editor of the magazine said that Van Gogh was a "free-speech fundamentalist" who had been on a "martyrdom operation[,] roar[ing] his Muslim critics into silence with obscenities" in an "abuse of his right to free speech". Describing Van Gogh's film Submission as "furiously provocative", Jayasekera said his death was:
Both left- and right-wing commentators criticized the article. In December 2004, Nick Cohen of London's Observer wrote:
Cohen's account of the conversation was repudiated by the editor of the Index on Censorship, who responded with a letter to The Observer.