I watched the Dutch film Bride Flight on the flight from Jakarta to Sydney – being a newlywed on a flight home made this movie a tad bit more special, I suppose. 🙂
The story is based on the 1953 historic Air Race flight from London to Christchurch in New Zealand, for which KLM won. A group of people are keen to escape the poverty and calamity in the Netherlands after a major flood: Frank, a smouldering man who is keen to establish life in New Zealand working with the land; Ada van Holland, a naïve girl who is bethrothed to mary Derk, a religious man already in New Zealand; Esther, a carefree holocaust survivor and designer; and Marjorie, also flying to marry Hans – also in New Zealand already. Ada ends up falling head over heels with Frank, who is much more romantic compared to the cold and conservative Derk. The movie chronicles their life and how a secret kept between Esther and Marjorie affects their whole life.
Ben Sombogaart, the Director, is also the man behind De tweeling (Twin Sisters) that was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2004 Academy Awards. I can certainly detect a similarity in style, the grand – almost epic – treatment of the stories. Both movies tell the stories very beautifully, very sensitively – and if one mistakenly thinks that either De tweeling or Bride Flight is just a chick flick, they will be pleasantly surprised by the depth of the emotions and the stories contained within the movie.
Bride Flight also showcases some of New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes in the South Island, as well as some spots in the North Island. Using the majestic backdrop doesn’t seem forced or contrite, it seems to emphasise the point that these people travelled so many miles away from their native country to a spot so alient and so remote.
The movie also raises a couple of interesting questions, one of which is similar to the one contained in The Bridges of Madison County. If a tall and handsome man falls in love with you and promises you the romance that you so much desire, will you abandon your dutiful (but cold) husband and family? The other question is, if you keep a secret long enough, will you reveal it years and years later even if it means that you will unravel a lot of relationships and affects so many people?
As the movie was made in 2008, the DVD is already out in the Netherlands. So if you can get a hold of it, go and see it.