Antonia's Line

Movie Review By Anthony Leong © Copyright 1997

The priest lovingly knocked her up every year, and they lived happily ever after.

"Antonia's Line", a Dutch film, is a delightfully surrealistic look (with feminist overtones) at the life of Antonia and her extended family. One morning, Antonia decides that it is the day that she will die, and so she gathers her family together for her final moments. The story then shifts back four decades to just after the Allied liberation of WWII, when Antonia and her daughter Danielle return to Antonia's hometown after a twenty year absence. They settle down and begin an extended family, learning about the enjoyment of life without the constraints of rules, Church, or tradition. They befriend the rejected of the town, bringing a sense of compassion and tolerance. They help others see the possibilities that lay beyond the rigid structure imposed on their lives-- in a sense, liberating them. It is a film about possibilities-- surrealistic scenes that punctuate the film have statues coming to life, and the dead rising in triumph. Moments of joy, moments of grief, the mystery of birth, the miracle of death... these are all captured in Antonia's line. Definitely worth a look.


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