Monday, February 16, 2009

Antonia


Antonia (released as Antonia's Line in the English-speaking world) is a 1995 film by Dutch director, writer, and feminist Marleen Gorris. It's an edifying and enchanting feminist fairy tale, centring around a charismatic and strong-willed Dutch woman who, shortly after World War II, returns with her daughter to the village where she was born. Winner of an Academy Award in 1996 for Best Foreign Language Film, it presents a multidimensional celebration of hospitality through the story of the matronal Antonia (Willeke van Ammelrooy) who, after returning to the anonymous Dutch village of her birth, establishes and nurtures a close-knit matriarchal community. Spanning nearly forty years starting just after World War II, it follows Antonia as she takes over the family farm, befriends a recluse, takes in the village simpleton, and provides a home for a retarded young woman who has been raped by a brother. The film covers a breadth of liberal topics, with themes ranging from death and religion to sex, intimacy, lesbianism, misandry and love. It won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice award, and the Nederlands Film Festival Golden Calf award.
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