With GRIMM, van Warmerdam travels from the cold, misty northern woods of his native country to the sunnier, yet still dark, vistas of Spain in telling a post-modern fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel gone awry.
One winter’s day, Jacob and his sister Marie are left behind in the woods by their unemployed Dutch father. In his coat Jacob finds a note from his Spanish mother urging them to go to their uncle in Spain: ‘He’ll be able to help you.’ They arrive in Spain only to find that their uncle has died. Marie meets Diego, a rich surgeon, and falls in love with him.
Diego lives with his domineering sister Theresa. Marie marries Diego – yet Jacob keeps jealously trying to tear his sister away from him. His efforts are in vain and Jacob starts provoking Diego. It soon becomes clear that Jacob’s defiance won’t go unpunished…