Film Review: CARGO (Netherlands)

Played at the May 2017 EUROPEAN Short Film Festival

Poster cargo small

On a lonely ship, in the middle of the North Sea, fourteen men work together for a month. Day and night they sail around oilrigs to provide them of supplies. In this world of fellowship, waves, storms and containers, Frans, an Amsterdam sailor, seems to be at his best. However, the longer the journey lasts, the more it becomes apparent that something essential is missing in this male microcosm at sea. A small film about loneliness and the importance of love.


Review by Kierston Drier

CARGO a documentary about love, family and men at sea, will pull on your heart. It follows the 14 men that make up a deep sea water crew, and their time away from their families while out. Gone for long stretches of time, the crew make peace with themselves by reliving their youth, their young loves, talking of their families, their children, their birthdays.

Like any good documentary, the filming team captures moments of the crew where they take no notice of the bulky machine recording their lives. Instead, the camera floats among them like a phantom, seeing the moments they hide from the rest of the world- a birthday shared at sea, a long-lost love, a phone call home to one’s’ children: Daddy will be home soon.

Another remarkable thing about CARGO and to director Marina Meijer’s credit- is the spectacular B-Roll in this piece. Bright colors, remarkable shots and beautiful moments litter this film like gems along the ocean floor. They elevate this piece to a mastery level.

You may never have spent a day at sea, but you will feel the ocean mist on your skin while you watch CARGO.



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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