6/101 Votes Alchetron
Music director Rutger Reinders
Director Sacha Polak
Screenplay Helena van der Meulen
|Initial release 29 March 2012 (Netherlands)|
Awards Golden Calf for Best Actress
Cast Hannah Hoekstra, Hans Dagelet, Rifka Lodeizen, Eva Duijvestein, Mark Rietman
Similar Home from the Hill, Vulgar, Black Butterflies, Straightheads, Three Brothers
Hemel is a 2012 Dutch film by director Sacha Polak. The film was Polak's feature film debut and premiered at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival where it was given the FIPRESCI award for best film in the Forum section.
Hemel (Hannah Hoekstra) is a young woman who frequently has one night stands with strangers. She has a close relationship with her father, Gijs (Hans Dagelet). Joining her father for a dinner party she witnesses him break up with his girlfriend, Emma, just beforehand causing an awkward scene at the party.
Hemel talks to her father's girlfriend in the bathroom afterwards by telling her that relationships last as long as they last. The ex-girlfriend accuses Hemel of taking more than she gives.
On a subsequent night Hemel goes home with a stranger named Jimmy and their sexual encounter turns violent when he strangles and then rapes her. Afterwards Hemel goes to her ex-stepbrother, Teun's birthday party where she interrogates his Christian girlfriend, Annabella, telling her that it is a waste that she's suppressing her lustful desires and waiting for sex until marriage.
Meanwhile at the auction house where he works, Gijs gives his girlfriend, Sophie, an auctioneer a ring that says "You make me human." He invites her along to meet Hemel on her birthday but beforehand tells her that Hemel was an accident and her mother committed suicide. Hemel is openly hostile towards Sophie but is surprised when she knows about Gijs former girlfriends.
Hemel has an affair with a married man named Douwe, the husband of one of her father's colleagues, Brechtje, and is surprised to learn that he has had only a few sexual partners. He tells Hemel that she is the only woman he has ever cheated with because he has never felt that betraying the intimacy with his wife was worth it. Hemel is charmed by him but is upset when he tells her their relationship will never last.
While on holiday Gijs tells Hemel that Sophie will be living in his house and she becomes upset. When she asks her father why he loves Sophie he tells her he has nothing to hide from her. Hemel tells him that her version of love involves knowing the same things as the other person. She later tearfully tells him she saw a man commit suicide by jumping off a building. Later on she peers over the edge of a building herself before leaving.
Hemel waits outside Douwe's house in the rain. When she spots him leave she knocks on the door to his home where Brechtje answers and tells her that Douwe isn't home. She then tells Hemel about how for the first three years of her life her father brought her to work everyday. When Hemel begins to cry Brechtje dries her tears and the two women hug.
The film received positive reviews drawing comparisons to Steve McQueen's film Shame.