Abel is a 1986 Dutch film directed by Alex van Warmerdam who also scripted and played the lead character. Other lead roles were played by Henri Garcin, Annet Malherbe and Olga Zuiderhoek. Supporting roles were played by Loes Luca and Arend Jan Heerma van Voss among others. Its music was written by Vincent van Waterdam and the film was distributed by First Floor Features.

Abel was Van Warmerdam's directional debut. He at first planned to make the movie in black and white but others discouraged this and he chose colour instead. The vast majority of the movie is situated in a fictive kind of Dutch fifties.

Abel had over 300 000 visitors, and it received a Gouden Kalf for 'Best film' and a Gouden Kalf for 'Best director'. In 1990 the tragedic comedy was named Best Dutch Film of the eighties by the Kring van Nederlandse Journalisten. In 2000 Abel was released on DVD.

Abel was produced in collaboration with Orkater and the VPRO.


Abel is a 31 year old boy who still lives at his parents home. He hasn't been out for over 10 years, much to the chagrin of his father Victor. On the other hand he gets spoiled by his mother Duif. He spends most of his days spying on the neighbours, setting up his parents against each other and fruitlessly trying to cut flies in two with an enormous pair of scissors. His father enlists a psychiatrist who puts the blame on the parents for their difficult relation; summons a mesmerist who gets frustrated by Abel; and tries to set up his son with a girl in his theater society. After mother and son secretly buy a TV-set father Victor gets furious and turns his son into the streets. Abel meets Zus, who works at a peepshow called "De Naakte Meisjes" (The naked girls). She takes pity on him. Zus has a relation with a married man and Abel finds out this person is his own father. In the mean time his mother finds out his whereabouts and a confrontation takes place at Zus' place.

Main castEdit

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