Antonia's Line ★★★★

In the aftermath of WWII Antonia returns to the village in the Netherlands that she left 20 years earlier. She brings with her Danielle, her adult daughter, and the two of them start a new life. The village is populated by eccentric characters and over the course of the remainder of her life Antonia becomes the matriarch of an entire extended family.

This award winning comedy drama is a low key gem with the odd (moon baying spinsters) the ugly (dark villains) and the good (the eternally pregnant) surrounding Antonia's expanding family. Seen as a feminist film upon release the idea of a strong female character not interested in attaching herself to a man seems less revolutionary these days. However it is sometimes difficult to establish an independent female character without having her display all the arrogance of a man.

'Antonia' (being the original title - the ' 's line' was added for international markets) is a film about the creation of a small society - it rarely gives glimpses into Antoinia's past before or during the war. By accepting everyone, including those with mental health issues, this diverse group become much stronger than they might otherwise have been.

It is, at heart, a fairy tale - with some of the solutions to problems being a little to 'pat' for real life - but that doesn't weaken the heartwarming nature of the film nor its intent to celebrate life and specifically a woman with a life well lived.