Discovery

Messi and Maud

Marleen Jonkman

Holandesa 01mustuse

While on holiday in Chile, Maud (Rifka Lodeizen) and her husband descend into a huge fight about their inability to conceive, leading Maud to take off on a solo road trip to get her life back on track, in Marleen Jonkman’s feature debut (formerly titled La Holandesa).

There are things we get over, things we simply get through, and things that leave us no recourse other than to shatter everything we know. It is in the latter, devastating condition that Maud (Rifka Lodeizen), the protagonist of Dutch director Marleen Jonkman's piercing feature debut, finds herself.

Maud and Frank are on holiday in Chile. After years of trying to conceive, Frank is ready to give up on the idea of parenthood. Maud, however, cannot let it go. Following one final quarrel on the subject, she abandons Frank to travel alone, without destination, over Chile's serpentine topography.

Maud attempts to reinvent her identity with every new encounter, giving different names, nationalities, and personal narratives to different strangers. One day, she catches a ride with a vulgar, sexually aggressive trucker and his young son, Diego. In a moment of desperation, Maud flees the trucker with Diego in tow. The pair forge a fleeting yet fierce bond, becoming a sort of surrogate family of two.

Messi and Maud walks a razor's edge, its heroine's journey feinting between mild transgression and more troubling acts of malfeasance. Lodeizen — who provides an equally stunning lead performance at this year's Festival in Disappearance — brilliantly embodies Maud's fugue state, surrendering to the delicate wisdom of Daan Gielis' script, which bravely explores the ways going off the rails can sometimes lead us back home.

MICHÈLE MAHEUX

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