Dorsvloer Vol ConfettiBerlin Film Festival 2015
Tallulah Hazekamp Schwab has hit the ground running with her debut feature, Dorsvloer Vol Confetti. It’s a composed, picturesque tale, both touching and profound. Based on a novel by Franca Treur, the story tracks a young girl’s gradual rupture from her religious family ties. Schwab’s attention to detail, evinced in her thoughtful camera work and storyboarding, breathes sentience into the film’s rustic, earthy setting.
Dorsvloer Vol Confetti’s centre point is the young Katelijne (Hendrikje Nieuwerf). Her character translates admirably to film, shrewdly depicted as a complex girl beyond her tender years. Conflicted, her anarchic tendencies are barely kept in check by a wilfully pragmatic countenance. Intelligence breeds academic curiosity and fuels an effervescent imagination, and it’s these traits that distinguish her from the more bovine adherents of a dogmatic faith.
By telling her siblings daffodils rise to the top of cow excrement – combining her scientific knowledge with fantasy – she disrupts their mode of living with a heretical whimsy. What follows is a series of unfortunate events and eventual disaster. Katelijne, riddled with religious guilt, blames herself for the unforeseen outcome. For all her enthusiasm in carrying out chores, the drudgery of farm life is not for her; like her brother Christiaan (Yannick de Waal), she longs to break out from the yoke of familial duties.
Societal controls of guilt and the social status gained from doctrinal adherence are lost on Katelijne, angrily acknowledged by a fervent mother savvy to her internal dissent. Pedagogy and its relation to religious conformity are probed throughout the film. For community to work, its patriarchs must instil fear and uncertainty of the outside, especially as an antidote to the lure of sensuous activity, in order to keep the young from hopping over both literal and psychical fences.
A quirky art house sentimentality, akin to the magical realism of Amélie, is present in scenes where Katelijne is experiencing self-becoming. The film’s score reflects this ethereal joviality, supplemented by imagery and metaphors loaded with the salacious possibility of sexual awakening. It is the trip to her aunt’s, after her mother has lost patience, where Katelijne finally breaks away. Becoming a woman dominates her materialistic desire to purchase sexy boots, and with naked flesh and fake bibles on show at her aunt’s liberal household, the transition from religious to secular is completed.
Dorsvloer Vol Confetti is a finely acted joy. It successfully avoids all-too-common thematic inertia by blending character development and meaning into a heart-warming story of a girl too big for her parochial upbringing.
Dorsvloer Vol Confetti does not yet have a UK release date.
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Watch the for Dorsvloer Vol Confetti trailer here: