To Play or to Die

Last updated

Spelen of Sterven
(To Play or to Die)
To Play or To Die.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byFrank Krom
Written by
  • Frank Krom
  • Anne van de Putte
Story by Anna Blaman
Produced by
  • Maria Peters
  • Hans Pos
  • Dave Schram
  • Jose Steen
  • Geert Hunaerts
  • Tjebbo Gerritsma
CinematographyNils Post
Edited by Sander Vos
Music by
  • Ferdinand Bakker
  • Kim Hayworth
Distributed byShooting Star Film Distribution BV
Release date
Running time
47 minutes

To Play or to Die (Dutch : Spelen of Sterven) is a 1990 Dutch gay-related psychological drama film directed by Frank Krom in his directorial debut and co-written by Krom and Anne van de Putte based on a story by Anna Blaman.



In this short motion picture, schoolboy Kees is intelligent, introvert and sensitive, but gets ridiculed verbally and physically at an all-boys school by mindlessly cocky classmates and even insensitive teachers, especially in gym, where his physical weakness is mercilessly abused to make him a defenceless laughing stock in front of his smirking peers. His awakening sexual interest goes to boys, and in particular to Charel, a beautiful athletic classmate who probably feels an undetermined interest but would never risk admitting (possibly not even to himself) having any gay or bi appreciation, least of all for a 'sissy', and thus remains unresponsive to shy Kees' overtures. When the hunk finally comes over to Kees' place while his parents are away, a desperate disappointment with a tragical twist is in the making.



While there are no critical reviews, the film received mixed reviews from audiences, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 72 user reviews, with an average rating of 3.3/5. [1]

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  1. "To Play or to Die (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes . Flixster . Retrieved 25 December 2015.