The Myth of Armando

Status: Completed

What happens in your childhood defines your life, according to artist Armando. His childhood was defined by one crucial incident; a boy kills a German soldier in the woods during the Second World War. The story recurs in Armando’s work in many forms: an ill-fated event, a victim that becomes a perpetrator, a guilty forest that witnessed everything but remains silent. Was Armando involved in the fateful event or did he invent a tragedy of mythological proportions? Filmmakers Sjors Swierstra and Roelof Jan Minneboo go in search of answers.

It begins at a woodland edge. A boy, around 15 years old, defies the curfew. A German soldier apprehends the boy and leads him to the Amersfoort concentration camp. The boy pretends to trip and stabs the soldier with a knife. The soldier dies, the boy flees. This incident, The incident, plays an essential part in the work of painter, writer, poet, sculptor, violinist and theatre maker Armando. In interviews Armando regularly brings up the incident, but he wards off deeper questions. Therefore many questions remain: was he involved himself or did he invent a universal tragedy, his own myth, that runs through his extensive oeuvre?

“Clever made documentary.”

– Volkskrant

“You probably couldn’t get closer to Armando.”

– Volkskrant

“A fascinating portrait of an already fascinating and mysterious man.”

– Digitale Kunstkrant

Het Voorval - Official Selection Gouden Kalf Competitie Nederland Film Festival 2019
Het Voorval - Official Selection DOKU.ARTS Berlin 2019


Scenario & director Sjors Swierstra, Roelof Jan Minneboo
Camera Reinout Steenhuizen NSC
Sound Evert Aalten
Editing Xander Nijsten
Music Oleg Lysenko, Rutger Zuydervelt | Machinefabriek
Sound design Mark Glynne
Broadcaster NTR
Distributor Amstelfilm BV