Accidentally stepping off a train in the remote Scottish Highlands, a chic Frenchwoman finds herself stranded with a Dutch railway points-operator who leads a lonely, basic existence. Winter falls; as the pair become increasingly isolated, lacking a common language, an intricate, near-silent mating ritual is enacted. The woman, sophisticated and worldly, wears her most provocative clothes to tease never-felt emotions from her virgin acquaintance, until she becomes a captive of his awakened passion. Taking no account of plausibility, Stelling's exploration of the uses and abuses of power is art house fare, but neither obscure nor elitist. Enthralling performances generate a claustrophobic tension, but there's humour too. The director is merciless with the pointsman's few visitors: a leering, randy postman with transparent courtship tactics, an engine driver whose scepticism about the whole affair anticipates that of the audience.
Cast and crew
George Brugmans, Hans de Wolf, Jos Stelling
Josse De Pauw Stéphane Excoffier Ton Van Dort Jim van der Woude John Kraaykamp