Girls in films by women hit screens
by Boyd van Hoeij
08/04/2010 - Two new Dutch films are released in the Netherlands today: The Aviatrix of Kazbek [trailer] and Joy [trailer]. The films, by Ineke Smits and Mijke de Jong respectively, will extend the current strong showing of Dutch female directors that will continue next week with the wide release of Antoinette Beumer’s The Happy Housewife [trailer] (see news).
Mijke de Jong’s Joy, which premiered in February in the Generation section of the Berlinale, is the closing part in her trilogy on adolescent girls. Like in Bluebird (Crystal Bear in Berlin, 2005) and Katia’s Sister [trailer] (Locarno Competition, 2008), the growing pains of its titular protagonist are again De Jong’s focus.
Screenwriter Helena van der Meulen, who wrote Bluebird, also penned the original screenplay for Joy (Katia’s Sister was based on a novel by Spanish author Andrés Barba and was adapted by Jolein Laarman and Jan Eilander). The ironically named Joy (newcomer Samira Maas, getting ecstatic reviews) is a foundling who, in her teens, decides she needs to find her birth mother. The film goes out on seven screens courtesy of A-Film Quality.
Smits’ The Aviatrix of Kazbek (see news) was the closing film of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. This fable also centres on a young girl (Madelief Blanken) with a vivid imagination but has an otherwise historically accurate background: the German occupation (by Georgian soldiers) of the island of Texel during WWII. Benelux Film Distributors releases the film in seven cinemas.
The other European releases this week are Sherry Horman’s Desert Flower [trailer] (Cinéart, 18 screens); Jan Kounen’s Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky [trailer] (Wild Bunch, 12 screens) and Gustav Deutsch’s latest archive collage work, Film ist A Girl & A Gun, which will screen in Amsterdam and The Hague (eye Film Institute).