Farewell to the Moon: farewell to innocence
by David González
- Dutch director Dick Tuinder presents a successful portrait of the destruction of a family in the 1970s in the middle of the social revolution in Rotterdam
Man landed on the moon in 1969. Apollo 11 landed (although for some this is still contested), filling the industry, the economy and society with new and strange kinds of hope. A new era seemed set to begin. Just three years later, in 1972, Apollo 17 closed its mission on the moon, and brought that short-lived new era to a close, according to Dutch director Dick Tuinder in Farewell to the Moon [+see also:
The film, which was produced by Film Colonna and competed for a Tiger Award at the Festival in Rotterdam, takes place in the Netherlands in a building where Duch (Ward Jansen) lives. The 12-year-old boy spends his time dreaming of being an astronaut and watching Mary (Elise Schaap), the beautiful 20-year-old who lives next door. The arrival of a new couple and their daughter will turn his life upside down: their sexual and moral liberalism provokes a dismantling of the family. The film becomes a portrait of a tension between his parents: this new life his father decides to embrace and the old life his mother desperately wants to hang on to.
Tuinder puts his name to a conventional story – halfway between drama and comedy, the weight of which falls back on Duch’s mother, Piet, who tries to hang on to anything she can as social changes threatens all she knows. Tuinder – a filmmaker, screenwriter, but also an artist, creates an original universe full of connecting roads, with a nostalgic and dreamlike quality, in an ingenuous, melancholic and disillusioned atmosphere. Farewell to the Moon uses a story without pretence to say goodbye to innocence: that of the man on the moon, of a social revolution, of Duch’s parents and even Duch’s very own.
(Translated from Spanish)