In January 1945, during the 2nd world-war, the Dutch resistance kills a collaborator in the street where the 12 year old Anton Steenwijk lives. The man was shot in front of his neighbors ... See full summary »
Derek de Lint,
Marc van Uchelen,
Monique van de Ven
In an anonymous Dutch village, a sturdy, strong-willed matriarch looks back upon her life, the generations of family and friends gathered around her table, and ponders the cyclical nature of time. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
Rarely does a movie embrace life as fully as "Antonia" (also known Antonia's Line). It was the deserving winner of the Academy Award for best foreign film in 1995. Quirky, unexpected, funny, frightening, and ultimately beautiful, Antonia's line is a portrait of hope that successfully escapes being saccharine. There are moments of violence and despair, but beauty endures. It portrays 3 generations of independent women, and the matriarch of their unusual family, Antonia. Antonia left her small village before WWII and returns years later with her grown daughter. Antonia has an opinion on everything, and smiles as she points out the colorful village characters to her cosmopolitan artist daughter who is amused by everyone from the town busy-bodies to the tradition of drunk men peeing on the church wall. However, Antonia manages to carve out a place for herself by embracing love when she finds it, and opening her arms to the needy outcasts and oddballs that are victimized by cruel villagers.
This film also offers a wonderfully refreshing depiction of love in all shapes and sizes-- connections between mentally handicapped loners, romance between women, elderly romance. It does not sensationalize these unusual couplings, rather it highlights the giddy delight that is two human beings connecting. This is truly a movie about self-made "family," lonely souls that find each other and live together with loyalty. However, one graphic rape scene and a few other (naratively essential) scenes of violence make it inappropriate for young or sensitive children. It is overall, however, not gritty or depressing. Rather it is a portrait of hope made more real by addressing the presence of shadows.
Both "My life as a Dog" and "American Beauty" are reminiscent of the kind of beauty and humor you can expect from this film.
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