Subtle mother-daughter drama. The Dutch photographer Roos (Rifka Lodeizen) travels to a snowy Norwegian backwater to visit her mother Louise (Elsie de Brauw) and to celebrate the birthday of her young step-brother Bengt. But the welcome she receives is none to warm and Roos is bringing some bad news of her own. Will this visit be her last chance of reconciliation?
The differences between the mother and daughter are played out brilliantly in Verdwijnen. In this sensitive and precisely told drama, director Koole does something seldom seen in the Netherlands: he tells the story through the smallest of visual and auditory details. Thus drawing you slowly but surely into the mindset of his main character, Roos. She has come to visit her emotionally closed, emigrant mother to tell her that she herself is terminally ill. That’s no easy matter. Roos and her mother have an extremely difficult relationship. We gather that it has probably been like this for years.
Like Koole’s ‘Beyond Sleep’, Verdwijnen is set in Norway, a country that provides a breathtaking background with its awesome winter landscapes. Almost everything is perfect: the subtle acting, the fabulous camera work and the fine soundtrack.