Peter and Erik

Status: Completed

The twin brothers Peter Anema and Erik Hulsegge did not know about each other’s existence for 17 years. Why were they separated upon adoption?

Peter and Erik’s unmarried mother forcibly gives them up after birth, after which the twin brothers are separated against her wishes and end up in separate adoptive families. Peter and Erik know nothing about the existence of an identical twin brother. Until their lives accidentally become intertwined at the age of seventeen. They both lived in Groningen all those years, only thirty kilometers apart as the crow flies. Now, 56 years later, Peter and Erik are determined to find the truth behind their mysterious divorce. Why were they separated and who had the power to separate them?

Together with investigative journalist Myrthe Buitenhuis, the brothers delve into the inscrutable world of placement committees, psychoanalytic theories, files, archives and difficult to approach official bodies. The closed doors and high walls lead to frustration, both for Myrthe and the brothers. The separation of Peter and Erik turns out not to be an incident, but to result from a mysterious scientific study in the United States for which twins were separated at birth. Were they also part of such an experiment? Through experts, the brothers hear about the scientific trend in the 1960s, debates about nature-nurture and about the effect that psychoanalytic theories and institutions can have on human life. With each discovery, Peter and Erik get one step closer to the why and the ideas behind the divorce, before the answers are lost forever.


Director & scenario Jesse Bleekemolen
Scenario & research Myrthe Buitenhuis
Camera Gijs Wilbers
Sound Mark Gelling, Sander den Broeder, Tjodi van Elk, Menno Knevel, Ting Fung Chueng
Editor Jelle Redeker NCE
Music Wouter van Bemmel
Sound design & mixage Rob Dul
Color correction John Thorborg
Broadcaster KRO-NCRV