LITTLE SISTER (1995) [Feature]

Netherlands (MIFF 1996 , Contemporary World Cinema )


Or. sex. power and videotape—this smart and funny, pseudo home-movie set in a world of groovy Amsterdam twenty-somethings plays fast and loose with the popular notion that the Camera is an instrument of control. Daant|e Flats alone in Amsterdam. Bold, beautiful and having a good time, she's on the verge of a relationship with the handsome wild child. Ramon Then, out of the blue, after an absence of many years. older brother Martijn visits. With omniscient camcorder capturing her every move this "Jan de Bont in rags" explains that he's better now and wants to make a documentary about her life Martijn's idea of documentary is more like constant surveillance, and he has supers footage from their past alluding to childhood incident he can t talk about and she'd much rather repress...

Everyone connected with the making of Robert Jan Westdi|k's striking debut feature was under 30 They made the film entirely independently of established film funding bodies It's a trlbure to Westdijk's creativity and Bert Pots elegant, handheld camera that the central conceit—all action observed through artfully conceived fake camcorder verite- works well.

Surely, inevitably, creepily. we're sucked into Marnin's compulsive voyeurism Then, just when—like Daantje—complicit viewers feel they can't take it any more, everything changes, as unpleasant intrusion and imminent menace give way to a very surprising resolution. This Fresh and often funny debut is an absolute must. • Mark Cubey

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