Monday, February 19, 2007

Antonia's Line

This past weekend I was coerced into watching a flick called Antonia's Line. If you haven't heard of it, don't worry neither had I, though it was the 1995 Oscar winner for best Foreign Picture. That said, I consider my viewing of it, by a wide margin, the least probable thing I have ever done.

The story begins, more or less, with a woman named Antonia, and her daughter, returning to her childhood village in Holland after the end of WWII. She's inherited the family farm from her dying mother (driven mad by her cheating husband, of course)

The townsfolk include a misanthropic, aggresively atheist intellectual who thinks all children should be aborted (apparently...I think), a cruel, uncaring dogmatic Catholic preist who molests children, a happy singing priest who quits the church and goes off to have a bunch of children with a woman who's job seems to be having babies from different men, and two neighbors who would be lovers if only their religous differences didn't keep them apart.

Of course their's Antonias neighbors. One is a vile little man who tries to whore out his mentally retarded daughter and his equally vile sons. On the other side there is a caring widower, with non-vile sons, who lusts after Antonia.

So let's see. Antonia's daughter catches the older evil son raping his retarded sister and runs hm through with a pitchfork. He leaves town to, what else, join the military. Dee Dee, the sister in question goes to live with Antonia, and soon shacks up with her hired hand, a mentally handicapped young fellow, in a plot line that was maybe kinda sweet in a way, but which I found rather patronizing.

In any case, the daughter grows up and decides she wants a baby...but not a husband. So mom takes her on a field trip to the city where they find some biker guy and take him to hotel. Once there the daughter and the guy get down while mom and the guys cousin (or something...it's the lady the happy priest shacks up with later) sip tea in the garden and wait. Once done the daughter slips out and they all run off.

Gosh, lets see, what happens next? The baby grows up to be some kind of super-prodigy (with the help of the shut-in intellectual. Why anyone would want their kid hanging out with this guy is beyond me) Her mom, Antonia's daughter, is now a lesbian, I guess, and gets into with her daughters teacher.

At this point, the evil guy who went to join the army returns. He rapes the grand daughter, though this is just mentioned in passing, and never has any apparent effect on the poor girl. It does give Antonia a chance to shove a shotgun in his face. Oh and in case you missed the subtelty of him being an evil military monster, he's been wandering around in full dress uniform the whole time. Long story short, he ends up being actually murdered by his greedy brother, who in turn is kicked to death by a cow.

Super-smart grand daughter goes off, at the age of 20 or so, to be a college proffesor and sleep with communists. Eventually she gets pregnant (by someone she's related to....again, I think so anyways. I confess I wasn't focusing like a laser at all times) and returns to the family farm for my favorite scene in the whole movie.

See, throughout the film the whole family is always seen eating outdoors, at a table in the farmhouse courtyard. As the family, and their circle of friends, expands so does the table. It was a nice touch actually. Anyway, grand daughter comes to dinner one day and announces to the twenty odd people there that she's pregnant. And everyone launches into a laughing, comedic debate over whether or not she should have an abortion. Now, I don't wanna get into my own thoughts on the subject, because this isn't that kinda blog, but I'd be lying if I said I thought that was the proper response to that statement.

Well, she ends up keeping the kid (against the wishes of the shut-in philosepher, who commits suicide soon afterwards) and a whole bunch of people die. Most notably, Dee Dee's husband is killed in a tractor accident, and we get to watch her wailing inconsolably for awhile. Because I wouldn't want to enjoy this movie or anything.

In the end, Antonia dies, but not before imparting on us this important message- religion sucks, so do most men, and the army is for rapist jerks.

Actually it wasn't that bad of a movie. It had some sweet moments, if you don't mind watching a depicition of farm life as an insane liberal fantasy.

Oh and yes, this was a horrible and only slightly accurate recap of this movie. So you should watch it and decide for yourself, because I sure wasn't the target audience.

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3 Comments:

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Gabrielle Eden said...

What kind of a movie is that? Yikes! Thanks for visiting!

 
At 7:14 PM, Blogger Kerry said...

Ben, I see you came by The Smoothing Plane. Terrific, now I have two readers. Heh.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Jen said...

I'm gonna add to tomy Netflix queue.

No, no I'm not.

 

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