Eight participants read and discuss fragments from, among other things, the letters of Johan Maurits van Nassau, governor of a Dutch colony in northeast Brazil between 1637 and 1644.
The entire film is recorded live in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague.
Johan Maurits has a reputation of being an enlightened ruler, who commissioned scientists and artists to study the new colonies, including the painter Albert Eckhout, whose life-size ethnographic portraits of the local population have become well known.
The story of the 17th century Dutch colony is about a community made up of different groups with conflicting interests who have to live together. The script, composed of reports from the Dutch West India Company, chronicles of a Portuguese friar and letters from Johan Maurits forms a complex image of a society full of paradoxes and conflicts.
The work also charts the legacy of the colonial history. In the discussions that this provokes in the film between participants and the public, the topicality of this rather neglected period in Dutch history comes to the surface.
Maurits Script is a part of A Certain Brazilianness. In this series of works, the roles of the participants are continually changing (director, actor, personage, audience) as a reference to a revision of fixed social positions and patrons.