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Beneath the Radar: Guernsey

EIFF's Artistic Director Shane Danielsen called Dutch production Guernsey; "The most ambitious and accomplished film to emerge from this country[Holland] so far this decade." Anna (Maria Kraakman) is...

EIFF's Artistic Director Shane Danielsen called Dutch production Guernsey; "The most ambitious and accomplished film to emerge from this country[Holland] so far this decade."

Anna (Maria Kraakman) is an aid worker and splits her time between the irrigation project she is overseeing and her family in Rotterdam. Whilst away she discovers the body of a French co-worker who has committed suicide and whom Anna thought was happy. Her self-belief is shaken and on returning home she begins to behave erratically, disturbing the family unit and leading to confrontations with her husband and embittered sister.

Guernsey is, without doubt, one of the most elegantly constructed films at EIFF 2006. Its series of beautifully composed shots are a joy to behold and worthy of a Dutch master. The images don’t exist, however, purely to pleasure the eyes; they feed into Anna’s increasing sense of estrangement from everything she once held as true.

Kraakman delivers a thoroughly convincing yet understated performance, conveying an incredible emotional range with little dialogue. Anna’s journey to rediscover a happiness she once took for granted may be complicated but director Leopold makes it truly satisfying.

Guernsey is showing on 16 and 19 August at Cineworld

 

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