Film Review: RUN FREE, 8min, Netherlands, Romance/War

Played at the February 2017 ROMANCE Film Festival

RUN FREE, 8min, Netherlands, Romance/War
Directed by Raynor Arkenbout

Escaping his execution at the hands of Nazi Soldiers, a rebelious Dutch teenager writes a brutally honest love letter to the girl who changed his life.

Review by Kierston Drier

The saying goes that all is fair in love and war. This is a film about both. RUN FREE is witty, charmingly comical and heartbreakingly innocent film about love that blossoms in the most unexpected places. Director Raynor Arkenbout tells the story of two Dutch teenagers who have fallen in love during the reign of the second world war. Naked and running for his life, our hero hides in a barn, where he composes a love letter to the young woman who made his life in the war worth living.

Touching and honest, this piece will strike chords with anyone who remembers the exhilaration and tragedy that often befalls young love. His letter outlines their meeting and the whirlwind romance that followed. Although our hero’s letter focuses strongly the sexual relationship the two of them have, he does not omit the emotional solace the two found in each other during the most trying times of their lives. The have both lost their families to war, and both had to learn fast how to make it on their own.

He ends the letter telling that if she can go on, and live in happiness, that’s worth it. To never feel bad for the way things ended. That knowing her made this war bearable. With that, he turns to face his pursuers.

A film of great simplicity yet packing maximum emotional punch, the most disarming and beautiful thing about Run Free is the way it captures the innocence of youth and recklessness of young love, the bravery it pushes us to, the sacrifice and compassion is breds in us. If there is something magical about Run Free it is knowing the love enables us see beauty in times of horror. It reminds us that a life filled with love is still worth living, even if it only allowed to live half as long.

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