In 1989 Van Den Berg was asked to film the novel Evenings, written by Gerard van het Reve and undoubtedly the most important post-war Dutch novel. Many people believed that a plotless book such as Evenings could never be turned into an exciting film. The skeptics were proven wrong: the film was met with an enthusiastic reception, won many prizes, was elected the Dutch entry to the 1991 Oscars, and is now considered one of the classics of Dutch film history.
Rudolf van den Berg's notes: Evenings (De Avonden) is the best known Dutch literary novel of all time, so turning it into a film was a great challenge. Everybody agreed it couldn't be done, so I ignored all advice, and told the story backwards compared to the book. I remember feeling that through each and every shot the story began to reveal to me something about myself until eventually, when the film was finished, I finally understood what the film was about.