Violence and Desire in Film


The film fragment festival Desire and Violence in Film will take place on November 6th, 2021 in theater De Balie in Amsterdam. The program starts at 14:00 and lasts till about 16:30.

The festival can also be followed live on a stream. This stream will later be provided with English subtitles and made available on a website.


You can register by sending an e-mail to Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.. For access, we use the same amounts as the 'rewards' during the crowdfunding campaign.

€10 - access to the live stream and later access to the video recording with English subtitles
€50 - entrance to the theater hall of De Balie in Amsterdam on November 6th

You can transfer the money to account number NL42 ABNA 0604 7727 85 of Stichting Girard Studiekring, with the comment "contribution anniversary 2021".



Award-winning novelist Arnon Grunberg is one of Holland’s most prominent public intellectuals. For years, he has written a front-page column in De Volkskrant, one of the largest newspapers in Holland. Now he will be featured in Violence & Desire in Film, helping audiences everywhere engage with René Girard’s mimetic theory, one of Grunberg’s important interests. Viewers will have a chance to look at the world through a mimetic lens, by watching the film fragments, following the discussions they inspire and relating them to what is happening in the world today.

Violence & Desire in Film will use a dialogue format. Grunberg will be in conversation with Girard scholar Joachim Duyndam, professor of philosophy at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. Grunberg uses film fragments as a way to sustain a wide-ranging discussion – modelled on a popular Dutch programme, in which artists, writers and others discuss their favourite film and television fragments.

To all donors the video registration will be made available with English subtitles after the event on Nov 6th, offering the rest of the world a chance to engage with Holland’s vibrant intellectual life.



Arnon Grunberg

Arnon Grunberg is a famous and prize-winning novelist in Holland. He is also someone who makes himself heard in debates about what is going on in the present world. For years he has written a column on the front page of De Volkskrant, one of the largest newspapers in Holland. It is in those columns one occasionally sees the name René Girard.

In his comments and articles Grunberg often challenges the consensus among intellectuals. For example, his essay on Donald Trump, is introduced with the following words: ‘Right-minded Westerners like to see Trump as Other, as a scapegoat. But in that we are fooling ourselves, Arnon Grunberg writes. Trump is our culture, but without disguise. “He made visible what should have remained invisible.”’

Last year Grunberg received the honour to speak on May 4th, the commemoration day of World War II. His Jewish background makes him especially sensitive to different types of being an outsider. Being a prominent artist in the Netherlands and having mimetic theory as one of his resources makes him a great candidate for the program as we envisage it. We are very happy with Arnon Grunberg’s cooperation. Preparations are in an advanced stage by now.


Joachim Duyndam

Joachim Duyndam is full professor of philosophy at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. Mimetic theory plays an important role in his thinking and writing. He has been a member of the Dutch Girard Society since 2007, when he gave the keynote address with Sandor Goodhart on Girard and Levinas at the COV&R conference in Amsterdam.

He also lectured at the 2010 Summer School on Mimetic Theory. He is a regular visitor of and presenter at the COV&R conferences. He served as a board member for two terms (2013-2019) and has participated in presentations and debates together with many Girardian scholars, including Robert Hamerton-Kelly, Sandor Goodhart and Jean-Pierre Dupuy. Duyndam regularly publishes articles about mimetic theory in scientific and popular philosophical magazines.