Polish Ewa works as an Au-pair in a small town in Holland. A sensitive girl, she finds it difficult to live up to her host-parents' clichéd expectations. When a rape takes place in town, ...
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"My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death penalty." Those were the famous words of the 22-year-old mass murderer Olga Hepnarová, who in 1973 drove a truck into a group of innocent people in Prague.
Polish Ewa works as an Au-pair in a small town in Holland. A sensitive girl, she finds it difficult to live up to her host-parents' clichéd expectations. When a rape takes place in town, Ewa believes to know the rapist. Having no one to share this knowledge with, it furthers her alienation from the people around her, resulting in her being send back home. Written by
Saw this film at the Toronto Film Festival with no prior expectations except that I enjoy dark films out the Netherlands and I don't get to see very many of them.
For one, the film is shot nicely, it looked done on 35mm which immediately gave it some gravity. The acting and script leaves some to be desired, though there was nothing overtly bad about it, I found some of the exchanges between the immigrant babysitter and her family a little hard to believe. There are some compelling scenes when Anton is first introduced, he makes for a decent antagonist, but at the end of the film I found very few redeeming qualities to the narrative, and it to be too hopeless. I am not against hopelessness in films - I am a big fan of Michael Haneke for one - but I don't particularly enjoy existential nothingness for the sake of it. It felt too empty, and without a purpose.
A plus are the locations - anybody who has been to the Netherlands knows it is a beautiful country, but there are some cities and small towns that feel so anonymous and alienating, modern, sterile and dark on account of the weather -I felt the film captured some of that dreadful vibe fairly well. The small conformed houses, where everybody has the same sized backyard and their own plot of land - very little to differentiate it all. There were several nicely composed shots in the film. But there were definitely some images that stayed with me. Not a bad effort, only wish it were tighter, better acted and more daring.
Excuse me if I have confused some of the names here, it has been a few years since I've seen the film, and only remember the feeling it left me and the basic plot - not all the names of the characters, and I did not know any of the actors. Overall not a bad thriller, and did a good job maintaining a single tone throughout.
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