Sea of Silence (2003) Poster

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Touching and honest.
mbyrne-319 April 2004
I watched this film recently at the Hong Kong Int Film Fest and found it, as stated, to be honest and touching. Honest, from the point of view that the story is dealing with religious/social feelings and 'obligations' in late 60's Belgium, and I'm sure they would apply to other areas of Europe at the same time. The fact that the family is coping with an alcoholic father/husband and the whole community knows about his habit is also very honest.

Some of the more touching parts of the film are the daughters attitude to her forthcoming holy communion and her imagination of what communion means for her 'relationship' with God. Also, the portrayal of how children behave when growing up, the telling of a secret, for example is well observed.

Not having seen any other films from Belgium, I cannot comment on whether it merited a nomination for the Academy Awards over any other film produced in 2003. But, what I can say is that the film has nothing to be ashamed of. It has treated the issues sensitively and honestly. Giving a good insight into the attitudes of the era.

This film was entertaining to watch. 7.5/10
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This film will replace the anesthesia-procedure in hospitals
orian_six8 January 2004
'Verder dan de Maan' is the new movie from Stijn Coninx. It tells us the story of a family living on a pig-farm, struggling with each-other. Huub Stapel is being portrayed as the typical drunk low-life husband who tries to be the good father, but who regrettably has a drinking problem. The wife is being played by Johanna Ter Steege, who is protecting her children and trying to save the family. Nothing new under the 'moon'.

This movie has been officially selected to be our entry for the Oscars in 2004. Unfortunately for other, far better Belgium films, this decision was made by people who obviously don't have a clue what Belgium currently experiencing with films like: 'The Emperor's Wife', 'De Zaak Alzheimer' or 'Any Way The Wind Blows'. All magnificent films made in 2003 in Belgium, in a country where we make maybe 10 feature films per year. It is a disgrace that we have to go to America with this pathetic excuse for a film. I don't get it! This movie resembles a lot Antonia (1995) who won an Oscar for best foreign film. And this is probably the reason and the only reason why this film has been send. Poor Belgium!

There are few Belgian actors playing in this movie. Practically all of them are coming from Holland. There is a lot of over-acting and the scenes are very cliché and old. I felt that I was kind of looking at a film from the 1980's. The film doesn't surprise us in any way. And Stijn Coninx hasn't made anything good since 'Daens' (1992). His film 'Licht' (1998) was very bad. 'Verder dan de Maan' is one big mistake and shame on those responsible for sending this film to the Academy Awards!
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