(1966) is a film documentary director and screenwriter. Stokman gained fame with ASH World Wide Suicide (2002), a documentary about American suicidal persons. For this film, he won the Best Documentary award at the Brooklyn Festival and received a Golden Calf. His documentaries are screened at festivals around the world and often win awards. Subsequently, he made films including Based on a True Story (2004), Beautiful in Beaufort Wes (2006), Scena del Crimine (Venice Film Festival selection, special mention Docudays Kiev), Dirty Window (2012) in which he follows the trail back to Hungary of a 19-year-old prostitute murdered in the Amsterdam Red Light District in 2009, Teledoc Adelborsten (2014) and true crime doc Lazy Duck (2022). In his new film The Kyiv Files, Stokman delves into old KGB files. In doing so, he examines files of people who, unbeknownst to them, were shadowed by the Soviet secret service.(WU2024)
Archive available for: Walter Stokman
The former KGB archive in Kyiv was made public in 2017, allowing Ukrainians to view their personal dossiers from the Soviet era for the first time. For many older citizens, it was an opportunity to get answers to questions that had been haunting them for decades.
Director Walter Stokman delved into three very different cases to make this extraordinary glimpse into the methods and reach of the Russian secret service. In one case, it set up a fake military base to capture Dutch amateur spies Reydon and De Jager. The story of Française Regine Chivrac shows that the KGB's methods also bordered on paranoia while visiting family in Ukraine, she started a relationship with a student who later turned out to be an informer.
Stokman shows how that era's years of suspicion echo through to the present, with irreparable damage done to family relationships, a son now fighting against the Russians, and a generation of people who have been on their guard all their lives. A starring role goes to cameraman Jackó van 't Hof's meticulous observations of today's Ukraine. (Source: IDFA)
The screening of the film was followed by a Dutch spoken Q & A with director Walter Stokman, hosted by Peter de Bruijn, chief literary editor at NRC.