- Original title
- Running time
- 95 min.
Richard Van Oosterhout
Carice van Houten,
All Yours Film / Phanta Vision Film International / M&B FILM BV
- Synopsis / Plot
- Marleen and Vince are both about twenty. Vince is an independent kid who doesn't give a shit about almost anything. In an old car, he was on his way to cross the Sahara, but the car broke down. Now he has found an old fishing boat on the southern coast of Spain and he is repairing it to carry on his journey. Marleen is an intelligent yet dreamy girl. She works voluntarily in a Spanish rest home. They don't seem to understand each other very much, but they experience an irresistible attraction. A passionate and inevitable love affair blossoms between them. In the searing heat of the plains of Southern Spain, in deserted bays by the sea, during frenzied parties, wild motorbike rides, swimming and diving, and lazing in the sun, they lose themselves in the stunning sensual experience of true love. Marleen regards her life before she met Vince as a kind of sleep and how she has woken up. Nothing and no one exists for her any more, except Vince. Vince starts to feel suffocated by Marleen's passion and tries to keep his distance. They quarrel fiercely and Vince starts avoiding her. That makes Marleen desperate. She tries to restore the relationship, but the harder she tries, the more she pushes Vince away. When Vince doesn't return after one of their quarrels, Marleen fears she has lost him for good. She panics and eventually ends up in hospital. There she finds peace. She realises that Vince and what he brings to the surface in her are bad for her and eventually made her lose her senses. She refuses to see him any more. Now Vince gets desperate. He tries to live on without Marleen, but he can't. He realises that he can't manage without her. He starts to understand Marleen's enormous pain. Vince manages to get into the hospital to see Marleen and promises never to leave her again. Marleen is unable to resist the intense feelings that blossom when she's close to Vince. Together they leave the hospital quietly.
They return to Vince's ramshackle boat on the beach. Marleen energetically sets about repairing the boat so they can sail away together. Deep down inside, Vince knows the boat will never be seaworthy, but he doesn't want to know, because sailing away offers the only hope for their love and a future together. In a moment of clarity, Marleen realises that she has lost her senses, that she is dragging Vince along in her insanity, that they are together heading for a death by drowning with their ridiculous plans to put to sea. She tries to convince Vince that he should leave her. Vince doesn't want to know, he will never desert her again. When Vince is asleep, Marleen creeps away and walks into the sea.
'Black Swans' is shot entirely on location on the Spanish Costa de Almería. The barren desert of this beautiful landscape augments the surrealistic mood of the film and is in a way the third protagonist.
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