Director: Paula van der Oest
Genre: Drama/ Crime
Runtime: 97 minutes
Starring: Ariane Schluter, Annet Malherbe, Sallie Harmsen, Barry Atsma, Fedja van Huêt, Marwan Kenzari, Fockeline Ouwerkerk, Marcel Musters, Reinout Bussemaker, Bas Keijzer, Ad Nippels, Jochum de Haaf, Amanda Ooms, Isis Cabolet, Ronald Top
Description: A psychological thriller, based on one of the most controversial court cases in the Netherlands. Lucia (Ariane Schluter), a nurse, is sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly having killed at least seven babies and elderly people.
Review: With “Lucia de B.”, the adaptation of one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in the Netherlands, director Paula van der Oest hits a nerve. Many people in the Netherlands know the name Lucia de B. The nurse, that was convicted eleven years ago for murdering several of her patients, was acquitted. How can an innocent woman sit in prison for six year, based on assumptions and gossip? The truth of this judicial miss comes to light in the Dutch drama “Lucia de B.”
During her nightshift Lucia de Berk takes care of Timo, a newborn baby with big health problems. When his conditions worsens, Dr. Kobus is paged. Clearly not focused the doctor declares the child stabile and leaves. The diagnose was wrong, because baby Timo dies a couple of hours later. Bad for Lucia, because this is one of the many incidents where she was present during the loss of a patient. The hospital presses charges. Baby Timo supposedly died of digoxin poisoning, but the pathologist can’t find any puncture wounds. Based on select proof, assumptions and gossip, Lucia is arrested and questioned. Her traumatic youth, where she was forced into prostitution as a teenager, works against her. She is associated with seven deaths and ‘the angel of death’ is sentenced for a lifetime in prison.
Judith Jansen, a public prosecutor who was part of the arrest, starts doubting her own judgment. She wants to proof Lucia’s innocents.
True stories always hit you hard, because at the time it actually happened people followed the story in the news. People always have their own judgment. The tough role of Lucia de B. is played by Ariane Schluter, and she does a pretty good job. Also Fedja van Huêt, as Lucia’s attorney, plays his role very well. The other actors don’t seem as driven as Schluter and Van Huêt.
Aside from the mediocre acting, the story is interesting and intriguing.
Rating: 3/ 5