Now on DVD from director Ivo van Aart and Film Movement is a story of the emotional truths about social media now attacking THE COLUMNIST.
Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) is a Dutch columnist and author struggling to finish her book. Taking a stance on how people can be cruel to one another on social media, she begins to become harassed on social media and even a few death threats. Concerned for daughter Anna (Claire Porro), all of it begins to drill itself into her brain.
Then she discovers that her neighbor is actually one of the people who has been harassing her on social media. It starts to become an obsession and the obsession turns to murder with a trophy. Oddly enough, her writing seems to have found itself after constant pressure from the publicist had slowed her down.
Femke also finds herself ready to start a very unexpected relationship with fellow author Steven Dood (Bram van der Kelen). As much as love is great and all, she can not help but continue to scroll social media and find those who would bring her anxiety level to a sleepless pitch.
Anna is a high school student who protests happenings at her school and is pleased when Femke wants to help her in any way possible. She even likes having Steven around. That changes when she unexpectedly discovers a secret in the garage that has her second guessing everything.
In the meantime, be careful what you post on social media!
Herbers as Femke is amazing in this role giving it everything and more. Starting out just wanting to finish her book and have a break from the pushing of social media, Herbers’ portrayal of Femke is together on the outside and raging on the inside. As a woman who becomes obsessed with each post, journalists and columnists alike get to live out their own anger and hostility towards it all – minus the odd freezer collection.
Kelen as Dood seems to be able to whip out a book in no time which really unnerves Femke. Through their relationship she gets to see another side of him but it doesn’t change her obsession. Porro as Anna is a young woman coming into her own and using her voice. Encouraged by her mother to do so, she is also upset that there seems to be a lack of understanding and she wants to know why. I love that Porro is the rebel teen!
Other cast include Genio de Groot as Arend, Rein Hofman as Arjen Tol, Achraf Koutet as Tarik Bos, and Harry van Rijthoven as Head Master.
Film Movement, founded in 2002, is an award-winning independent and foreign film company that has released more than 250 feature films and shorts. Theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign arthouse titles catalog such directors as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner and Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. Bluray and DVD films bring such directors as Eric Rohmer, Bolle August, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Luchino Visconti and many more. To discover what Film Movement is all about and find out more about what they have to offer please visit www.filmmovementplus.com.
THE COLUMNIST is the story that has many levels to it. First, obviously, is that of a writer trying to make everyone happy without much success. Gee, that is totally relatable to fellow writers on every level. Then there is the aspect of social media that plays and plagues everyone’s life in some for or another. Femke wraps herself in the insanity with a prickly blanket of hate.
The main character is correct is wondering why we can not all agree to disagree without the war of disgusting words. Many, not necessarily writers, wonder the same thing. As a writer I find it wise to stay away from social media because of the ugliness it brings and the emotional detriment it can bring.
Yes, THE COLUMNIST is just a film, but it is a film showing how human beings do not give one flying frog about what Femke is going through. Their right so say whatever they want supersedes the humanity we should be showing to one another. Agreeing to disagree should be a given not an exception to the rule.
That being said, the film is also brilliantly done, filled with dark humor, raw emotion and has a bit that I found my self feeling evil grins escaping from my face. Based on a short story by Windhorst, it plays amazingly as a full film with an ending that had my jaw drop.
In the end – keyboards can be dangerous!