Made for Dutch TV, Dust is a strange, haunting tale of boys and girls coming of age in a bleak and desolate rural landscape.
WHEN it seems inevitable that Alko’s first kiss will be with fellow girl worker Marie, he realises he better practice, but on whom? What starts as an innocent friendly encounter with his best mate Bjorn turns into an embarrassing series of episodes of self-loathing, anger, guilt and recrimination.
It’s clear that Bjorn is attracted to Alko, but Alko becomes less and less sure and when Marie finds out about the boys’ kiss, it sparks unrest that spreads among the other farm-working boys.
The film – though only 40 minutes seem much longer because of its languid slow pace, and dim light and sepia tints render it more moody than atmospheric.
Henk-Jan Doornbosch captures the innocent moodiness of Alko, with long, slow mournful stares at everyone around him. Liam Feiken as Bjorn is more boyish but his character is not really developed.
The story needs more development and depth in my view and we know tantalisingly little about the boys’ background and upbringing.
It’s a kind of prototype for a modern-day Lord of the Flies and I can see the storyline being further developed as the characters are intriguing and interesting.
Dust, directed by Joren Molter, and distributed by NQV Media.
Review by Brian Butler.