We are delighted that our good friends at Habbekrats have just released their second feature film in the Netherlands after they debuted with road movie Rabat in 2011. Where the collaborative effort of Jim Taihuttu and Victor Ponten had a bright and positive tone, follow up Wolf, written and directed solely by Taihuttu, shows a different side of life. In grainy black and white frames the fierce climate prevailing in life on the streets of a nondescript suburb in the Netherlands is depicted in a style reminiscent of the work of Nicolas Winding Refn and Jacques Audiard. Center point of the narrative is Majid (Marwan Kenzari) who tries to pick up his life after six months in jail by focussing on kickboxing, but as his star rises due to his relentlessness in the ring, he gets sucked into the world of organized crime.

Wolf shows serious progress from its predecessor; narratively, technically and in the size of the production, marking a new chapter for Habbekrats. With their second feature film it is very likely that a range of new possibilities will open up for the creative film company based in Amsterdam. When asked what inspired Taihuttu to write the script which portrays a new generation of ruthless criminals who don’t step away from explicit violence:  “I see a connection with the overall hardening of society,” he says. “There is a group of young people who are thinking: what does it matter what I do, nobody is paying attention anyway.”

They cut themselves off from all social conventions that belong to a society. They lead almost a lawless existence. They are not insured, aren’t registered anywhere. They don’t give a shit, and the justice system is not built to deal with that.

As Wolf has been selected by the prestigious film festival of San Sebastian and is shown at the Fantastic Film Fest in Austin, Texas, the film seems to be a promising start to for fill the ambition Habbekrats has to become a serious player in the European film industry. And even before Wolf was released Taihuttu already expressed his plans for the future in which he wants to focus on the Indonesian War of Independence, which is seriously under-exposed in the representation of Dutch history, and after Wolf another seamless fit in the profile of the cinema Habbekrats wants to be remembered for.
We fully support Habbekrats’ vision and look forward to the cinema from their hands in the years to come.

When located in the Netherlands see here to find out where to catch Wolf in a cinema near you! With the distribution-rights already sold to Italy, the UK and Germany, and possibly more to follow: keep an eye out when the film will be released somewhere near you when you are located elsewhere.

In the meantime enjoy the sharp eye of Aaron van Valen who exclusively selected some beautiful unreleased set photographs for us to share.

All photographs courtesy of Aaron van Valen and Habbekrats.