Dunya & Desie

Belgium/The Netherlands 2008, Feature film, 98' | Director Dana Nechushtan | Screenplay Robert Alberdingk Thijm | DoP Bert Pot | Editor JP Luijsterburg | Sound Gert Janssen | Music Steve Willaert | Cast Eva van de Wijdeven, Maryam Hassouni, Christine van Stralen, Theo Maassen, Rachida Laallala, Rachida Iaallala | Production Frouke Hekker

Dunya and her best friend Desie, who live in Amsterdam, couldn't be more different. Of Moroccan extraction, Dunya has been brought up in Islamic culture and is constantly escorted by her brother. Desie, by contrast, is Dutch to the core, effervescent, cosmopolitan and feisty. But on her 18th birthday, Dunya learns that she is to be married to a distant cousin in Morocco. She sees no possibility of putting up resistance and, before long, the whole family is off to the ancestral country. Desie meanwhile has a completely different problem: she is pregnant. Also, never having had the chance to get to know her father, she now feels the urge to meet him, and increasingly so. When she finds out that he too lives in Morocco, she sets off behind Dunya without hesitation. And that's the start of an exciting adventure for the two friends as they come up against totally new experiences, encounters that are at once strange and funny, genuine challenges and, ultimately, the need to take life-changing decisions.

Dunya & Desie is a refreshing colourful road movie about coming to terms with one's own role in an increasingly complicated world. It's also the continuation of a three-part series that ran from 2002 to 2004 on Dutch TV with great success. There too, the director was Dana Nechushtan while Dunya and Desie were played by Maryam Hassouni and Eva van de Wijdeven respectively.


Born 1970 in Israel, Dana Nechushtan studied film at the Dutch Film and TV Academy. Following graduation in 1994, she worked on several TV productions and Total Loss (2000), her first film for the cinema. For some years now, she has also directed advertising films.

Dana Nechushtan
Belgium, The Netherlands
Feature Film
School Film