Starring Karina Smulders, Waldemar Torenstra, Anna Drijver, Pleuni Touw, Petra Laseur, Rutger Hauer
Directed by Ben Sombogaart (’Crusade in Jeans’, ‘Pluk van de petteflet’)
Written by Marieke van der Pol
Based on the air race from London to Christchurch in 1953 Bride Flight, so named because it’s passengers were mainly young brides following their fiancés across the world in the search of a new life, is the story of three young women, Esther, Marjorie and Ada and one man, Frank, who meet in the air at the beginning of their post-war journey to a foreign land.
It is a tragedy fifty years after the air race itself that provides a structure for the story as historical and contemporary circumstances are intertwined in a beautifully told love story that is exquisitely complimented by New Zealand’s magnificent countryside.
Interspersed with archival footage from the air race, the film explores themes of friendship, family obligations, loss and of course the thread that runs through them all: Love. The contrast between the New Zealanders’ laid back attitude epitomized be lines like “only snobs use the front door” and the somewhat tightly wound Dutchmen and women is endearing and the slow shift from entirely Dutch speaking with English subtitles to mainly English dialogue lends a subtle authenticity to the story’s timeline.
The acting is fantastically believable, the casting very clever with the elder Esther, Marjorie and Ada all bearing a striking resemblance to their much younger counterparts. There is a rather slow build but the shifting story telling from one woman to the next maintains interest in the unfolding tale.
Winner of the Best International Co-production during the Luxembourg Film Awards 2008 this character driven drama is simply lovely.