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Home page > Review > Together (14 May 2009)

Together by Eicke Bettinga


There are films that prefer to insinuate rather than declare. Together is the ’introverted type’. It is a short observational story about a relationship between father and son, estranged due to a family loss. German/British director Eicke Bettinga is not using any unknown techniques to capture the presence of the deceased brother. It is more about the actors’ ability to assimilate this experience in the cinematic space with candidness and simplicity. In itself, the bleached photography provides a strong visual tool that tranquilly promotes the sorrowfulness of the circumstances.

The question is, what can be said during a visit of the remaining son to his family’s house a year after the incident? As a matter of fact, not much. Together focuses the narrative on an emotional build-up rather than on momentous explanations and futile dialogue. Gazes, pauses, and gestures reveal more about the relationships than words could suggest. In this respect, the film’s core is essentially the encounter between a father and son, who wrestle, both physically and emotionally, in an attempt to confront their fears.

Together is the film you wish could divulge more. However the minimalism in its means of depicting grief proposes a kind of lightness worth embracing. And life goes on.

Eftihia Stefanidi

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