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Review: Urfeld (2012)

Directed by: Maurice Trouw Borst | 50 minutes | drama, short film | Actors: Finn Poncin, John Leddy, Jaap Maarleveld, Jules Royaards, Coby Timp, Hero Muller, Sanneke Bos, Gijs Blom, Askr Caminada, Reinier Bulder, Kristen Denkers, Danny ten Hag, Mareen Hoek, Nils Verkooijen, Jip van den Dool, Abe Dijkman, Kay Greidanus, Mlte Huthoff, Caecilia Thunissen

One Night Stand is a series of eight short films by new filmmakers. In the seventh edition, eight films of approximately fifty minutes have been included. ‘Urfeld’ by is the third in the series and tells about a father and son who have a difficult relationship, but leave together at the request of the father to the German town of Urfeld to visit a sick friend. Gradually, however, something completely different appears to be behind the road trip.

What immediately stands out about this is the beautiful camera work and the excellent casting. Various well-known TV heads come into the picture, in roles that you do not expect. Jules Royaards (Nol from the mediocre series ‘Sam Sam’) plays Siem, an elderly man who is on a group trip to Urfeld with his wife. His piercing eyes register a famous person and he withdraws from the group to chase the man. At the same time we meet the slightly stressed Bram (Finn Poncin), who despondently has to see that things just don’t click between his new girlfriend and his adolescent son.

When Bram’s surly father Tinus (a truly excellent John Leddy – you know, from ‘Zeg’ ns Aaa ‘) asks him to take him by car to Urfeld to visit a sick friend, Bram wants to go there first. know nothing about it. But he is persuaded and a little later father and son sit silently next to each other in the car. That things don’t go together between the two is an understatement. Tinus seems to pay little attention to his son and is only concerned with his ‘mission’ in Urfeld. It gradually becomes clear from Bram that he cannot let go of his professional role as a mediator in his and therefore never manages to make a fist.

The closer father and son get to Urfeld, the stronger the tension between the two. Until it turns out that Tinus did not want to visit a sick friend at all, but he has agreed with two comrades from the resistance, including Siem, to solve a seventy-year-old issue. And slowly but surely it becomes clear where Tinus’ difficult attitude towards his son comes from. All this beautifully portrayed and generally played out beautifully naturally.

There are only a few small scenes that seem a bit forced. Finn Poncin leaves it a bit here and there in his dialogues, but his facial expression makes up for a lot. And John Leddy is truly a relief. The heavy theme is subtly illuminated with comical situation sketches, so that the does not drag anywhere. Director will not ring a bell with many people, but hopefully that will change with ‘Urfeld’. A strong first encounter with a director that we hope we will hear a lot more about!

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