Ben Ali Libi

A heartfelt search for Ben Ali Libi, the main character in an iconic poem of the Dutch poet Willem Wilmink. This documentary chronicles the larger story of the Holocaust by means of the gripping fate of the renowned magician Prof. Ben Ali Libi. On June 20, 1943, during a raid of the Germans in the south of Amsterdam, Ben Ali Libi is arrested with his family. After that, the family is sent to transit camp Westerbork and from there to Sobibor. Ben Ali Libi is one of the 34,000 Dutch Jews who died in Sobibor. We use a search to reconstruct his life, his successful career, and the first years of WWII – when he performed for Jewish forced laborers in Dutch labor camps – through archival footage and captivating testimonies.

Ben Ali Libi, magician († 1943, Sobibor) will be released in Dutch art houses April 2015.

Facebook page of the film

Watch on Vimeo on Demand.



Dirk Jan Roeleven

2014 Nieuwe Helden, In het Hart van de Tour, documentary, 88′. NTR, Teledoc, 10.000 visitors in Dutch arthouse cinema’s.
2012 Classic Albums, Shocking Blue – At Home, documentary, 58′. VPRO. Chief editor and director.
2012 Sporthuis Hubert – De Sint Willebrord Sessies, Vol. 1, documentary, 80′. NTR. Chief editor.
2009 Serie De Oorlog, afl. 9 De Oorlog Na De Oorlog, documentary, NTR. Chief editor and director.
2008 – heden Andere Tijden Sport, sportdocumentaries, 30’ VPRO/NOS, director and commissioning editor of several programmes.
2000 – heden Andere Tijden, historic programm, NTR/VPRO, director of several programmes.
2006 De Weduwen Sonneveld, documentary, 62′. NPS, Uur van de Wolf.
2004 Willem Wilmink – Dichter in de Javastraat, documentary, 62′. NPS, Uur van de Wolf.
2003 Vier vrolijke wielerverhalen, 60′. NPS
2003 Willem Ruis – Eenzame hoogte, documentary, 62′. NPS, Uur van de Wolf.
2000 Anton Corbijn – No Still Life, documentary, 67′.


Director: Dirk Jan Roeleven
Director of photography: Erik van Empel
Sound: Sander den Broeder
Research: Suzanne Hendriks, Gerrie Timmerman
Interpreter and translator: Hania Hakiel
Consultant: Ad van Liempt
Producer: Julia van Schieveen
Co-producer: Gerrie Timmerman
Executive Producer: Frank van den Engel
Commissioning Editor NTR: Oscar van der Kroon

Based on an original story by The Magician’s Daughter Productions.