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Northerners, The

Alex Van Warmerdam

In this bizarre black comedy, written and directed by Alex Van Warmerdam, a housing development, abandoned with only a fragment of a street finished, punctuates a bleak, flat landscape. The tiny houses with their large 1960’s style picture windows offer little privacy for their occupants, who are unaware that the postman disappears into a nearby forest each day to steam open the mail. The sole shopkeeper, a butcher, is frustrated because his wife has become transfixed by a figurine of St. Francis and prefers fasting to sex, driving him to raping his successive counter assistants. Their neglected 12-year-old son is fixated on events then prevailing in the Congo and goes around disguised as Patrice Lumumba, the doomed leader.

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