I had a hard time figuring out what I want to talk about when sharing something with NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION and it was difficult finding something that I think is meaningful and personal at the same time. First I thought about books, movies and things that I like, then about how my story and thoughts relate to it and now I decided to mix both.
1996 a movie was released that is called Antonia’s Line. It was directed by Marleen Gorris and takes place in a Dutch village. It happened that my mother watched that movie right after it came out and just before I was born. Because of that the main characters name from the movie is now also my name. I didn’t know about this until I was about 12 or 13 years old. That was the first time I watched it and got to know the story behind my naming. As this movie did not only give me my name but also taught me a lot about the weirdness of life and being a woman I think it’s a topic that’s worth to share with you.
The movie is different than a lot of movies that I know and probably also that you know. Of course it’s shot a while ago but still; the characters, the storytelling and the conversations are different. Antonia the main character is a woman who got pregnant very early in her life and left the village she came from to move to a big city with her baby. In the first scene you see her coming back to her home town with her daughter that now is grown up. They come back because Antonia’s mother is dying and Antonia wants to take care of her farm and say goodbye to her. Normally you would expect that a scene at the deathbed is tragic and sad but as I told you this movie is different.
Right from the beginning it has a morbid sense of humor, is satisfactorily odd and tells the story tragically open and honest.
Never have I seen a movie that gives me so many different emotions in such a short amount of time.
An honest and raw portrayal
Next to Antonia there are of course many other characters; her daughter, later the girlfriend of her daughter, her granddaughter, her philosopher friend Krumme Finger and many more. In this movie there are more women than men, another thing that is very different from other movies. But also the way that they are portrayed is very unique, honest and raw. They are strong, they are weak, they suffer, they enjoy, they struggle, they assert themselves. And not only various characters but every character itself is doing so during the movie which to me is the most remarkable thing as every person female or male is and can be everything.
Take any famous American Blockbuster you can watch nowadays (not all of them but most of them); there is always a love story between a man and a woman. And mostly there is always the savior and the victim – go through the movies and assign the parts yourself. Mostly the savior, the hero is male and the victim, the weak one is the female. This image is poison for personal freedom.
Back when I was in school there were many discussions about stereotypes in any area of human existence which I am very grateful for as it taught me a lot. Most of us thought that there still are boxes that we put people into and get put into but it’s rapidly and drastically changing to the better and we are free more than ever before. Now that’s partly true but I don’t fully agree with that. We are not free when getting bombarded with tons of those toxic images and stereotypes while not learning how to reflect on them properly. We learn how to understand things but we don’t learn enough how to question things. Movies like Antonia’s Line help widening the horizon and add colors to the paintbox. The characteristics that every human being contains are endless, nor good or bad, they are simply human and don’t depend on sex, origin, age nor ethnicity.
Antonia’s Line is not only and mainly a movie about feminism, to me it’s a movie about liberation and togetherness.
Which is the same with every fight against any kind of inequality, injustice or constraint. It’s about getting together and finding that every person is always a little bit of every one else and a little bit like every one else. In a new song of mine I used a quote from Antonia’s Line. It’s a song about womanhood so I really wanted to have something from the movie in there. Some months later I wrote an email to Marleen Gorris the director to tell her about it and ask for her permission. I told her the story of my naming, how much I loved the movie and how important is was to me.
To be honest I wasn’t sure if she would answer but she did and even gave her regards to my mother. I recommend you to watch Antonia’s Line. You might like, don’t like it, you might think it’s weird, feel understood, laugh, get angry, sad. But it definitely will be honest and different and raw.