Hemel changes her sexual partners at an even quicker pace than her father Gijs changes his girlfriends. Since the death of the mother, the father and daughter have had an unusually close, at times even overly intimate relationship which tolerates no real commitment in their respective affairs. When Gijs dumps his girlfriend Emma at a party, Hemel’s “secret” triumph is written all over her face. She is thus all the more shaken when her father falls in love with Sophie for real, who Hemel snidely refers to as “her new mother” and who is now to move in with them.
Tinged with empathy and sadness, HEMEL takes a painfully precise look at the life of a troubled young woman who uses her sexuality to provoke in a scathingly aggressive manner but ends up doing the most damage to herself. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival]
Sisters doing it for themselves in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. “In the old days, the local copper would tap on the window if a girl was showing too much ankle, now the girls deal coke from their cubicles.” Louise and Martine Fokkens are identical twins. For over fifty years they were working as prostitutes. They freed themselves from the control of their pimps, ran their own brothel, and set up the first informal trade union for prostitutes. They are familiar faces in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, but soon they will bid their farewells. The Ladies Fokkens is a portrait of these remarkable women. [Synopsis courtesy of official site]
Shanghai’s Peace Old Jazz Band has been performing together since 1980, but the group’s members have been playing much longer than that. Aged between 65 and 87 years, many of them have been playing jazz since the 1940s and have seen the world transform. From the Japanese occupation and the Cultural Revolution to capitalism on overdrive, the band members have seen the many faces of China and withstood the government’s suspicions of jazz. Through ages of political upheaval they never lost their faith and belief in their music. Now comes one of their biggest challenges: each year Rotterdam hosts the North Sea Jazz Festival and this year, Peace Old Jazz Band plans to make the trip. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]