Screened as part of NZIFF 2020

Mi Vida 2019

Directed by Norbert ter Hall

Defying family expectations and maternal norms, 63-year-old hairdresser Lou travels to start a new life abroad, settling on the Spanish port city of Cádiz, where adventures in language and friendship await.

Spain / The Netherlands In Dutch, English and Spanish with English subtitles
90 minutes VOD



Maaike Benschop
Petra Goedings


Roos Ouwehand


Richard van Oosterhout


Wouter Jansen

Production designer

Mario Attard

Costume designer

Alette Kraan


Jasper Boeke


Loes Luca (Lou)
Elvira Mínguez (Andrea)
Fermí Reixach (José)
Loïc Bellemans (Luc)
Anniek Pheifer (Barbara)
Jason Mba (Pablo)
Diewertje Dir (Charlie)


São Paulo 2019
Santa Barbara 2020


In the empowering spirit of Educating Rita and Gloria, this sun-soaked Dutch dramedy follows sexagenarian Lou Welter (Loes Luca), who arrives in Cádiz seeking to rediscover the magical feeling she had when she visited there as a child with her father. However, any initial frisson quickly fades. Living with her host family proves intolerable and Lou instantly finds herself offside with her Spanish course tutor Andrea Cruz (Elvira Minguez), especially after she is the one who has to bail Lou out of her accommodation bind.

Gradually finding her feet, a rooftop room and friendship, both with fellow (and much younger) language students and a gaggle of Pilates classmates, Lou’s newfound bliss is then threatened by the unannounced arrival of her pregnant daughter.

Director Norbert ter Hall and actress-turned-screenwriter Roos Ouwehand have crafted a charming character study which makes clever use of sound and focus to evoke the excitement, confusion and fear of arriving in a new city. It’s also a fabulous showcase for Minguez and Luca, who get plenty of moments to shine in authentic and substantive lead roles that, as ter Hall rightly points out, rarely exist for women of their age. — James Croot

About the Filmmaker
Norbert ter Hall is a director and producer who’s worked extensively in Dutch television, including the long-running series ‘t Schaep met de 5 pooten (2006–2015), which starred Loes Luca.

Selected filmography: De Belofte van Pisa (2019), &Me (2013), Monte Carlo (2001)