Tulip Gold (Tulpengoud) is a combined book, film documentary and exhibition project. It tells the story of three families from Noord Holland who grow and cultivate tulips. The lives of these families are disturbed when there is a sudden, very sharp, rise in the prices of new tulip varieties.
A film by Leo Erken, Research Marie Louise Schipper and Leo Erken , Camera Deen van der Zaken, Mark Bakker and Leo Erken, Sound Charles Kersten and Wouter Veldhuis , Editing Marlene van der Kooi , Music production Frank van der Weij and Film producer Valérie Schuit /Viewpoint Productions 2005-2006
Tulips and the Dutch are inextricably bound to one another. They have been cultivated here for over four hundred years, for in this coastal climate the bulbs thrive best. Thousands of new bulb varieties have been created. Tulips are now being cultivated all over the world but Dutch expertise is nearly always required for a successful end result.
The documentary, Tulip Gold, tells the story of three families from Noord Holland who grow and cultivate tulips. The lives of these families are accelerated when there is a sudden, very sharp, rise in the prices of new tulip varieties.
Brothers Arie and Jack Vriend successfully expanded the nursery which they took over from their father twelve years ago. In addition, there has recently been a thriving trade in new varieties. Tulips are being cultivated by hybridists such as Jan Ligthart and Ger Koomen. Jan Ligthart, together with his wife José and their six children are working towards a brighter future. Not so long ago they were nearly bankrupt, but better times are afoot. All of a sudden their tulips are in demand. Ger Koomen dreams of the perfect tulip which he is going to create and which will make him famous.
The prices for the new varieties keep going up and one could even speak of a speculative boom. Investors and growers, spurred on by the tulip fever, take very big risks. It is easy to make the comparison with the tulip mania of 1637. For a year and a half the camera follows the three families. These are turbulent times.