Verder dan de Maan

The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark


The story is set in 1969 in a small village in Holland and starts with the announcement of the upcoming landing of Apollo 11 on the moon. CARO is a 9 year old girl who grows up on a pig farm which is run by her parents. Caro's teacher teils the class about the landing on the moon, but Caro refuses to believe it. She thinks that God would never allow it to happen as heaven is sure to be the next stop after the moon. At home, none of her brothers or sisters really seem to care, though her extremely religious and alcoholic father MEES (43) is even more worried than she is. He's a farmer to the core and has trouble coping with modern-day development of technology. The responsibility for his big family (a sixth child is on the way) is more than he can handle. Mees reverts to alcohol or acts the clown in more sober days.

Caro is preparing for her First Holy Communion. She feels closely connected to God and so the communion marks a very important day for her. At the same time, Caro tries to learn to swim. Even though she is a straight A student, she is intensely afraid of swimming. She makes a deal with her father: if he promises not to drink until her communion, then she will learn to swim. Mees tries hard to keep his promise, but eventually Caro's communion party ends a disaster as Mees is unable to control himseif.

As a result, Caro starts acting strangely. She questions everything, including her faith in God, and finds she cannot really control life. Things just seem to happen for no apparent reason. To make matters worse: their entire flock of pigs dies over night. Mees reacts to life's misfortunes by falling into a state of apathy and indifference. The tide turns when a new flock of pigs brings fresh hope and faith to the family.

The story ends with the actual landing on the moon. Caro's family (including her aunts and uncies) all gather in her living-room to watch this historical event, but Caro shows no interest. She prefers go outside and look at the moon for herself. Meanwhile, she has learned to swim, God has become but a vague acquaintance and she no longer worries about things which are beyond her control. She has become a carefree child and takes things as they come, weicomes life as it unfolds.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Stijn Coninx

Written by: Jacqueline Epskamp

Produced by: Els Vandevorst, Ineke van Wierst

Cinematography: Walther Vanden Ende

Editing: Ludo Troch

Production Design: Peter Menne

Original Score: Henny Vrienten

Cast: Huub Stapel (Mees Werner), Johanna Ter Steege (Ita Werner), Neeltje de Vree (Caro Werner), Dirk Roofthooft (priest)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2003