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Pluk de Nacht | © Lipstick /  WikiCommons
Pluk de Nacht | © Lipstick / WikiCommons
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Highlights From Pluk De Nacht: Amsterdam’s Biggest Open Air Film Festival

Picture of Tom Coggins
Updated: 7 September 2016
Every August, legions of cinephiles flock to the banks of the river Ij to huddle around Pluk de Nacht’s mammoth silver screen. The festival began in 2003 after a group of friends decided to put together a selection of movie nights held on a rocky alcove near to Amsterdam’s Central Station. From these humble beginnings, Pluk de Nacht steadily grew into the full-scale film festival it is today. The programme was hand-picked by its organisers, showcasing their favorite international movies from the past year. To honor the festival’s achievements, we’ve put together a list of the stand-out films from this year’s Pluk de Nacht.

Illegitimate by Adrian Sitaru

After the fall of Romania’s fascistic dictatorship, its citizens were caught in a storm of morality. Suddenly, their actions under the regime became vulnerable to ridicule, criticism and, often, prosecution. In Illegitimate, a father is forced to confront his past when his children discover that he was as an informer. As a doctor, he would report women when they asked for an abortion, handing them over to the secret police. The film explores the moral fabric of two generations, exposing the precarious lines drawn between right and wrong.

The Pleasure is Mine by Elisa Miller

In order to distance themselves from the city, young couple Rita and Mateo move to an isolated house in the Mexican countryside. Their playful, modest life begins to unravel as they slowly realise that love is never as simple as it appears. Mateo refuses to commit to Rita’s desires and their petty bickering gradually gives way to resentment, fear and aggression, revealing cracks in their relationship that threaten to completely upheave the life that they have built together.

Baden Baden by Rachel Lang

After losing her job as a chauffeur for a movie production company, Ana decides to commandeer her ex-employer’s rented Porsche. She sets her sights on Strasbourg and races towards her destination. This small-time rebellion inflames her restless spirit, encouraging Ana to change her life for the better. Against everyone’s advice she hooks up with her ex, attempts to renovate her grandmother’s bathroom and eats vegetables covered in ketchup, proving that she is no longer bound to society’s faux pas and expectations.

Chevalier by Athina Rachel Tsangari

Six male friends land themselves a luxury yacht and set out on a cruise across the Aegean. After growing bored with fishing and water sports they concoct a bizarre set of games. These competitions will decide, once and for all, who is the best man. Everything is measured, racked up, and scrutinised, with increasing levels of testosterone and absurdity. This bizarre comedy is the latest outing from Athina Rachel Tsangari, a director who has worked alongside Richard Linklater and fellow Greek Weird Wave auteur, Yorgos Lanthimos.

Fukushima, mon amour by Doris Dörrie

German performer Marie is a tormented young woman. She worries about her career, and whether she will ever find happiness. To alleviate her anguish she flies to Japan and helps out with the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster. There she bonds with an elderly Geisha, Satomi, and together they journey into the region’s irradiated landscape, finding purpose, hope and friendship along the way.