Antoniak’s challenging masterpiece: Splendid Insulation:

Urszula Antoniak’s new film hits theaters on July 7 after the world premiere at IFFR. Antoniak shows that in addition to blockbuster action movies, the medium is a visual and auditory art form that leaves you with questions.

Two women and a drone

An empty beach, two women, no idea where they come from or what they do there. Remarkable is the drone, which is emphatically in the picture and thus also seems to play an extra or supporting role. In any case, Antionak makes optimal use of these and other cameras, not only to tell the story, but also to overwhelm the viewer with beautiful images.

Why are the two women, Hannah (played by Anneke Sluiters) and Anne (Khadija El Kharraz Alami), there? Why are they alone? Why is the house they find abandoned? What is that drone doing there, and who is operating it? What is the relationship between the women? All questions that cannot be answered immediately. That is, the description of the film answers some of the questions. Otherwise, this is a journey of discovery for the viewer through beautiful images and an equally exciting sound experience.

Synopsis

Want to start this journey of discovery without hints? So avoid the announcement in the quote below and read on below. Even with the introduction below, the director does not lay out a bite-sized story for the viewer. From the start, she challenges the viewer to interpret the title Splendid Isolation in their minds.

Little is known about the disaster Anna and Hannah fled and the struggles they had to make to reach the remote island. When they find drinking water and an abandoned house in the dunes, Anna returns to her role as Hannah’s caretaker. Distance is both necessity and torture for the two lovers. Hannah’s fragile condition reminds the two women that their time together is coming to an end. One day Hannah sees someone on the beach. The bitter fate is upon us. The uninvited guest is Death, who has accompanied the women to the island.

Synopsis film

Terschelling’s wall – filled frescoes

Polish-Dutch director Urszula Antoniak (Nothing Personal, Code Blue) was nominated for the Big Screen Award at IFFR. After watching the movie, one understands as a viewer that it is very justified. The instructor makes optimal visual use of the Terschelling site and the house where the story takes place. The pictures of Terschelling look like paintings mounted one after the other in The Hague School’s Dutch tradition. The images of and use of the house draw attention to the architectural forms and the possibilities these offer a filmmaker. On the big screen, these images are as overwhelming as Michel Angelo’s wall – filled frescoes. With the ‘soundscape’ as an addition to this ‘landscape’, the cliffs would not look out of place like a video installation in a museum.

The power of the duo

This visual power amplifies the strength of the duo Hannah and Anne and their relationship, no matter what interpretation you give to it in your own head. The form, the story and the game take you as a viewer by the hand for almost an hour and a half.

This visual power amplifies the strength of the duo Hannah and Anne and their relationship, no matter what interpretation you give to it in your own head. The form, the story and the game take you as a viewer by the hand for almost an hour and a half. No, it is not a blockbuster that you can easily consume.

Instead, look for answers to the questions you start with, and whether you find the answers or not, or whether you are left with other questions, does not matter. One answer is clear: Antoniak delivers a challenging masterpiece.

Q&A with Urszula Antoniak

Do you still want answers to the questions that are holding you back? Go to the screening of the film in Eye on the opening night on July 7 at. 19:00. Then there will be a Q&A with Antoniak. Details via the Eye film museum’s website.

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