A young man and a young woman have just been married and lead a respectable average life. They seem to be happy with their IKEA-existence, until the cosmetics, they have rubbed their illusionary life with, begin to show some cracks. Then everything that appears to be normal, begins to turn around. Hunting & sons will be an artistic film delivering a razor sharp image of 'average Holland at its narrowest'. Written by
Director Sander Burger introduced this film at the London Film Festival by saying, "It's not an easy film to sit through so good luck!".
It's about a husband and wife couple Tako and Sandra. Tako is a pretty good catch in terms of looks and plays the acoustic guitar (women just love that for some reason), he's no bright spark but he is happy running the family bike shop "Hunting & Zn.", and he's the guy Sandra always had her heart set on. The relationship is warm but pretty superficial, animal as far as the film shows.
It all goes pretty wrong, but I won't spoil why, except to say that it's an internal family matter. One thing to note is that in the part of Holland where this is shot is known for lack of communication, according to the director, people keep their cards fairly close to their chests and suffer in silence. So when things go wrong they try and take matters into their own hands.
The idea for the film occurred to Sander Burger when a policeman, who lived just around the corner from him killed himself, his wife, and his three children. Just what causes such situations to happen? The setup is very different here but the answer is also to do with a lack of support structure to turn to.
Something that's quite key to note is that, in Holland, people cannot be committed to asylums or clinics by the authorities, they have to self-admit. This is due to worries about potential human rights abuse. Burger says that this has resulted in lots of crazy people roaming the streets of Amsterdam. So if you're sat in the film thinking, "Why didn't they do this?", "Why didn't they do that?" it's because of these particular Dutch conditions.
One feeling of the film is of a husband losing control over his relationship with his wife. This is handled quite well, but, for example, I thought of Fabrice du Welz's 2008 movie Vinyan, which is no classic, but handles the same theme with a lot more feeling.
The actors playing Sandra and Tako (Dragan Bakema and Maria Kraakman) are actually a real life couple, and so this enabled Burger to show some quite nasty physical scenes which a non-couple may not have been able to cope with. Also there's puking in the film and it's real, so there's real commitment here! Solid film, value is in its social conscience rather than any entertainment.
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