Looking back at her life on the last day of her existence, elderly matron Antonia (Ammelrooy) recalls moving home after WWII to her family's Dutch farm, along with daughter Danielle (Dottermans), a future art student and single mother. As the years go by, the farm becomes a haven for outcasts and ne'er-do-wells of every stripe, while several generations of Antonia's female descendants are reared in the rustic matriarchal environment.
Why we love it
This Oscar-winning chronicle features dramatic vignettes about an odd assortment of female relatives living together in a small Dutch village, and tackles themes such as prejudice, sexual violence, and the courage of living free of traditional social strictures. In the absence of male approval, women like Antonia and Danielle are happily self-sufficient, independent creatures, a quality reinforced by their aversion to marriage. With an excellent ensemble cast (including Mil Seghers as a misanthropic tutor named Crooked Finger) and well-realized elements of magic realism, this is an endearing tale about a boldly feminine bloodline.