Local films offer counterprogramming
by Boyd van Hoeij
Though the US productions Alice in Wonderland, Dear John and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans are the biggest new releases in the Netherlands this week, three local films and two European titles offer counterprogramming in the country’s arthouse cinemas.
The biggest local release is the Independent Films title Zwart Water from newcomer Elbert van Strien, which hits 35 screens today. The genre film – a rarity in Dutch cinema – stars Hadewijch Minis and newly anointed box-office hunk Barry Atsma (The Storm [+see also:
film profile], A Woman Goes to the Doctor [+see also:
film profile]) as a couple with a young daughter who move into an old house the family has inherited in Belgium. But the family’s dark past might come back to them in unexpected ways.
Amstelfilm releases the mostly US-set Dutch film Great Kills Road on three screens. Director Tjebbo Penning collaborated with actor Marcel Faber on the story of the father of a young boy who goes to the US to find the boy’s mother.
Also premiering today is the documentary Rotvos from Jan Musch and Tijs Tinbergen. The film was named the Best Documentary at the most recent edition of the Golden Calves, the national Dutch film awards.
Rotvos explores the difficulties of protecting nature and wild animals in the Netherlands by looking at wild foxes. Fox hunts became illegal in 2002 to protect the dwindling species but by 2006 were allowed again since the growing population literally started devouring other protected species. The non-fiction film is released by Cinema Delicatessen on four screens.
Another European documentary, Videocracy [+see also:
film profile], about the media in Berlusconi’s Italy, also premieres today on two screens, courtesy of distributor Wild Bunch. Jessica Hausner’s Lourdes [+see also:
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile], which like Videocracy premiered in Venice, goes out on ten screens today and is released by eye Film Institute (formerly Filmmuseum).