Saturday, December 07, 2013

AIFF2013: De Nieuwe Wereld (The New World) Very Satisfying

This was the first feature I saw and it was satisfying on all levels - good story, nice film making, sensitive human relationships.

The highlight for me was when the main character Mirte, a cleaning woman at a Dutch immigration detention center at the airport - not quite in Dutch territory - is cleaning a
Window Cleaning scene from De Nieuwe Wereld trailer
glass wall.  On the other side, an African detainee that she has found a connection to through their common loss of a spouse, mimics her cleaning motions with his head and body in a beautiful playful dance. [Dec 8: found it on the trailer, added screenshot]

But there were many other parts that were so well done.  The slow and painful opening of Mirte, whose son is living with his aunt and uncle and we someone have to figure out that Mirte has recently lost her husband.

There is the inside view of the detention center. Another review called it a "reception centre for asylum seekers,"  but it looked more prison - even if clean and modern - where people wait for the Dutch to decide if they meet the guidelines for getting asylum.  We see the difficult job of questioning the asylum seekers, interactions among the staff, and the pain of sending people back.

But we also see Mirte's struggle to take her son back in and their easing of tension.

And there's her motorbike which probably has some symbolism, but I haven't had time to think that through.

Very satisfying film.   It will show again Wednesday 7pm at Alaska Exp Theater.

It turns out it was scheduled three times at the festival - two showings is normal - so Mine Games, which was only scheduled once, will take The New World's spot Sunday, Dec. 9[8], at 5:30pm at Alaska Experience Small Theater.

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