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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Sacha Polak
Netherlands / Spain 201


Sacha Polak's debut feature is a frank and explicit look at carnal desire that is told from a distinctly female perspective. She paints an erotically charged portrait of a woman whose casual sexual encounters mask a loneliness and a craving for intimacy. Hemel (Hannah Hoekstra) is a young woman who drifts through a series of anonymous one-night stands and seems only close to her father. When he finds himself a girlfriend, Hemel's jealousy puts her on the emotional edge.


Passionate Hemel (Hannah Hoekstra) seeks intimacy through random sexual encounters, though the only man she ever truly opens up to is her father. When he gets serious with a new girlfriend, Hemel's intense jealousy threatens to be her undoing.


Hemel is a 2012 Dutch film by director Sacha Polak. The film was Polak's feature film debut and premiered at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival where it was given the FIPRESCI award for best film in the Forum section in 2012 the film was translated into Russian (translator - Andrey Efremov) and screened at the Vologda Film Festival.

Hemel (Hannah Hoekstra) is a young woman who frequently has one night stands with strangers. She has a close relationship with her father, Gijs (Hans Dagelet). Joining her father for a dinner party she witnesses him break up with his girlfriend, Emma, just beforehand causing an awkward scene at the party. Hemel talks to her father's girlfriend in the bathroom afterwards by telling her that relationships last as long as they last. The ex-girlfriend accuses Hemel of taking more than she gives.

Excerpt fromWikipedia located HERE

Theatrical Premiere: January 29th, 2012 (International Film Festival Rotterdam)


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DVD Review: Artsploitation Films - Region 1 - NTSC

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Artsploitation Films

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:23:15

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.19 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (Dutch | Spanish | Arabic | English), DUB: Dolby Digital 2.0 (Dutch | Spanish | Arabic | English)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Artsploitation Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
 An interview with director Sacha Polak, star Hannah Hoekstra and (6:01 + 5:42)
 Trailer (1:48)
 Trailers for other Artsploitation Films releases
 12 page collector's booklet

DVD Release Date: March 12th, 2013
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 12





Sacha Polak's Hemel is another film dealing with a woman's confused relationships involving sex and love. I found it an honest and likeable film, finding myself protective of the titular character. Hannah Hoekstra was great. It had a minor artistic style - not self-indulgent and I was intrigued by the pacing to conclusion.

It's dual-layered, anamorphic and progressive in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and looks a shade soft and video-like. It's fairly unremarkable but consistent and watchable. We are spoiled by 1080P.

Lossy Dolby surround tracks in both 5.1 surround and 2.0 channel stereo in Dutch are available. The film has no notable separations - and no credited score but dialogue is clear and audible. There are optional English subtitles (see sample below) on the NTSC DVD.

Extras include short interviews with both director Sacha Polak, and star Hannah Hoekstra discussing the production. There is also a trailer for the film and trailers for other 'Artsploitation' films releases. The package has a 12 page liner notes booklet.

NOTE: There is a German Blu-ray , HERE, but it is in Dutch with only German subtitles.

If you are keen so far - you might enjoy the story, subtle style and lead performance. With the growth of BD - I'm finding you can get some good films on DVD at a reasonable price.

  - Gary Tooze



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Artsploitation Films

Region 1 - NTSC


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