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Sacha Polak's debut feature is a frank and explicit look at carnal desire that is told from a distinctly female perspective. She paints an erotically charged portrait of a woman whose casual sexual encounters mask a loneliness and a craving for intimacy. Hemel (Hannah Hoekstra) is a young woman who drifts through a series of anonymous one-night stands and seems only close to her father. When he finds himself a girlfriend, Hemel's jealousy puts her on the emotional edge. An emotionally and physically raw study of sexuality that is nothing less than mesmerizing.
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If Amazon is going to offer altered product for sale they should clearly label it as having been doctored, censored or altered from it's original condition.
I must say however that this is the only instance of dissatisfaction I've had in dealing with Amazon.
Having watched it, I can tell you that it IS dramatic, but still... It's not what you think it is.
I'd look elsewhere.
Hemel (Hannah Hoekstra) -- which means heaven in Dutch -- is a gorgeous 23 year-old woman who we meet right at the beginning of the film, in a chapter called "Genital Phase." Here, we find Hemel with what we assume is her boyfriend, both totally naked, on a bed, somewhere before, during or after sex - or none at all. Their talk is aggressive and inflammatory, with the male lover asking Hemel, "You don't shave, do you?" And Hemel answering, "Why?", and her boyfriends telling her, "You have a hairy c--t." Hemel, not particularly happy, responds, "Yes. And?" To which her lover says, "I'm not a bushman." Still unhappy, Hemel tells him, "Oh, you are a child molester." The lover then asks, "Ever had a mouthful of pubic hair?" And so goes this formidable scene, a Kodak moment of real life. From then on, the movie evolves into small chapters exploring Hemel's sexual life and her close relationship with her father - she doesn't have a mother. We'll witness how Hemel deals with several lovers, always finding something wrong with them, including one Algerian man, whose tenderness bothers her. She tells him that she didn't "like afterplay, petting after an orgasm. It's more masculine to fall sleep after sex, like lions." She also talks harsh to and is sarcastic with her loved ones, including her father. However, it is her father that she trusts more and seems to want to imitate.
Director Sacha Polak says that "Hemel" is about a father and daughter who have a symbiotic relationship. This seems true as you watch the film, as you see a beautiful, conflicted young woman insecure about life and love. This is powerful, real-life filmmaking. The DVD includes interviews with Hoekstra, Polak, and screenwriter Helena Van Der Meulen; a 12-page collectible booklet; and more. (Netherlands, Spain; 2012, color, 80 min plus additional material)
Reviewed on March 12, 2013 by Eric Gonzalez for Artsploitation Films.