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Een Vrouw als Eva

A Woman Like Eve

Netherlands 1979
produced by
Matthijs van Heijningen for Sigma Film Productions
directed by Nouchka van Brakel
starring Monique van de Ven, Maria Schneider, Marijke Merckens, Peter Faber, Renée Soutendijk, Anna Knaup, Mike Bendig, Truus Dekker, Helen van Meurs, Ben Hulsman, Karin Meerman, Theo de Groot, Trudy de Jong, Marjon Brandsma, Elsje Scherjon, Ineke de Graaf, Herman Doeleman, Harrie van Cranenburgh, Hans van Veghel, Anna van Beers, Rik van Hulst
idea by Carel Donck, screenplay by Judith Herzberg, Nouchka van Brakel, music by Laurens van Rooyen

review by
Mike Haberfelner




Eve (Monique van de Ven) is pretty much the model housewife and mother - until she has a nervous breakdown, not so much because of the strain of her housework but the utter monotony. Ad (Peter Faber), her husband, is quick to see she needs a break from him and their children Britta (Anna Knaup) and Sander (Mike Bendig), and sends her on a trip to France with her best friend Sonja (Marijke Merckens). On the trip, she meets young Liliane (Maria Schneider), who invites her to her hippie commune for a party, and Liliane is somewhat drawn to the commune's lifestyle, but more so to openly gay Liliane. So back at home, Eve tries to implement some principles that she's learned in the commune, like communal cooking for the whole apartment building to give all housewives more time for themselves, but only with limited success, and especially Ad doesn't like the change in his daily routine. Eve also does her best to meet Liliane everytime she comes into town, and the too become closer and closer friends and finally lovers. Ad has a meltdown when he finds out, after which Eve takes a powder and lives with Liliane at the commune for a few months. She only notices how this affected her children when she returns, however she ultimately moves out of her and Ad's apartment for good, moves to a houseboat with Liliane - who by now splits her time between living here and at the commune - and gets temporary custody of the children even. But Ad isn't one to easily give up on the children, not just out of fatherly love, much less because he thinks Eve's a bad mother, but because his ex-wife living with a woman insults his patriarchal pride ...

 

A film that's very much a product of its time as society has fortunately evolved a lot when it gets to same-sex partnerships in the last 40+ years, A Woman Like Eve is nevertheless a brilliant time capsule and must have been a very ambitious, even controversial film when made. But what makes the film work is less ambition and controversy, but that it does have lots of heart, and that it doesn't let its message destroy its story, that's not simply one-sided but has its moments of ambiguity - up to the very ending really -, and it's directed in a laid back, subtle way to let the story flow, while the performances are all natural enough to keep things grounded to make things work on more than a mere message-level and make it relatable, and thus enjoyable, even today.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD