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Who would want to kill the village idiot?

Amsterdam, portrait of Theo van Gogh for sale at freemarket


Theo van Gogh (July 23, 1957–November 2, 2004) was a Dutch film director, television producer, publicist and actor. He was a descendant of Theo van Gogh, the brother of painter Vincent van Gogh. He was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri in 2004.


The film Submission Working from a script written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, van Gogh created the 10-minute movie Submission. The movie deals with the topic of violence against women in Islamic societies; telling the stories of four abused Muslim women. The title itself, "Submission", is the translation of the word "Islam" into English. In the film, women's naked bodies are veiled with semi-transparent shrouds as they kneel in prayer, telling their stories as if they are speaking to Allah. Qur'anic verses unfavourable to women are projected onto their bodies in Arabic. After the movie was released in 2004, both van Gogh and Hirsi Ali received death threats. Van Gogh did not take these very seriously and refused any protection, reportedly telling Ayaan Hirsi Ali: "Who would want to kill the village idiot?"

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Taken on May 2, 2007