Nathan – Free as a Bird

The 44-year-old Belgian, Nathan Verheist wants to die and end the mental suffering he has lived with for his entire life. He was born a girl into a family where he was never loved. At the age of 42, Nathan officially became a man, but the sex reassignments surgeries made after this did not succeed. He does not feel at ease in his body or in this world. He is tired of fighting for his place.

The film by Roel Nollet was originally meant to tell the story of how Nancy becomes Nathan, but eventually it turned out to be a sad story about a human being who seemed to encounter nothing but obstacles during his life. The documentary follows Nathan’s preparation for his purposeful death, euthanasia. In Belgium, euthanasia is allowed both on the grounds of physical and mental suffering.

Nathan speaks openly about his feelings. He wants to tell the world about his life because he wants people to understand what can happen to a person who is deprived of love and acceptance. Nathan’s story is heartbreaking and comfortless, but also beautiful. Nathan wants to be like the bird he has tattooed into his chest. He wants to finally fly free, away from the world that treated him so unjustly.

Text: Elli-Alina Hiilamo / Translation: Anniina Hautakoski

Language: Dutch
Subtitles: English

  • Director: Roel Nollet
  • Country: Belgium, Italy
  • Year: 2014
  • Length: 72 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Roel Nollet
  • Editing: Roel Nollet
  • Audio: Roel Nollet
  • Production: Roel Nollet / Trotwaar


  • Cinema Artis hall 2: Sunday 01.02 - 16:30