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Hemel

3.2 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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. An emotionally and physically raw study of sexuality that is nothing less than mesmerizing.

Review

"Beautifully lensed look at the moment just before a daughter has to let go of her father should travel extensively and turn Polak into a name to watch." --Variety

"Lust, love, and need prove a tangled knot inside the heart of one young woman in Hemel, Sacha Polak's alluring character study of a beautiful Dutch twentysomething driven to fill an emotional void with casual one-night stands...Hoekstra's stunning, star-making performance, which, in one striking close-up after another, sharply captures the fear and pain of having to let go and grow up." --Slant Magazine

"Hemel stars Hannah Hoekstra as the title character, a young woman somewhere in her mid-twenties. What we come to the impression that Hemel is that she is searching for something; be it love or be it lust there s emptiness inside her, a part of her devoid of the emotional fulfillment she wants. To fill this, she tries sleeping around and having a few one night stands. This is all very casual to her, she thinks nothing of sleeping with someone she just met and has no problem chit chatting with him afterwards or even letting him shave off all of her pubic hair. As one encounter leads into the next, we have to start to wonder how and why she's so nonchalant about all of this. She very obviously enjoys sex and the pleasure that it brings her but seems resistant to actually making any sort of connection to her partners beyond the physical...this film is quite well made, occasionally surprising, and very worthwhile." --Rock! Shock! Pop!

Special Features

12 page collector's booklet
An interview with director Sacha Polak, star Hannah Hoekstra and screenwriter
Helena van der Meulen.
Trailers for other Artsploitation Films releases
Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Hannah Hoekstra
  • Directors: Sacha Polak
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Dutch
  • Subtitles: Dutch, English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Artsploitation Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AYGVCCK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,806 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Frank on June 3, 2013
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I purchased this Video from Amazon, but was so distracted by the pixelated windows blocking the genetalia that I deleted it after 10 minutes.
If Amazon is going to offer altered product for sale they should clearly label it as having been doctored, censored or altered from it's original condition.
I must say however that this is the only instance of dissatisfaction I've had in dealing with Amazon.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Hemel is Heaven but Hemel is far from heavenly. She has an issue with intimacy, unable to relate on any level but sexually. This drama tracks her through a number of one night stands and follows her one close relationship, her father. Sadly, Amazon's version has drifting opaque windows to block our view of genitalia. If the director/editor had intended this, a small change in camera angle could have accomplished the same thing. I found it as annoying as the smartphone user sitting in front of me in a dark theater or even as bad as putting a fig leaf on a Rodin sculpture. I've seen a huge number of films but not this form of censorship for about 30 years.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
To try to censor it, Amazon put on some screen mesh on the private parts. It is awful. Do not buy the censored version.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I'd look for the uncensored version.
Having watched it, I can tell you that it IS dramatic, but still... It's not what you think it is.
I'd look elsewhere.
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Format: DVD
It is said that some daughters are attracted to their fathers at some point in their lives. Those kinds of feelings are rarely explored in cinema, as they are delicate issues to deal with. The unforgettable "Hemel" takes a sincere and penetrating approach to this facet of life, and it triumphs in every level.

Hemel (Hannah Hoekstra) -- which means heaven in Dutch -- is a gorgeous 23 year-old woman who we meet right at the beginning of the film, in a chapter called "Genital Phase." Here, we find Hemel with what we assume is her boyfriend, both totally naked, on a bed, somewhere before, during or after sex - or none at all. Their talk is aggressive and inflammatory, with the male lover asking Hemel, "You don't shave, do you?" And Hemel answering, "Why?", and her boyfriends telling her, "You have a hairy c--t." Hemel, not particularly happy, responds, "Yes. And?" To which her lover says, "I'm not a bushman." Still unhappy, Hemel tells him, "Oh, you are a child molester." The lover then asks, "Ever had a mouthful of pubic hair?" And so goes this formidable scene, a Kodak moment of real life. From then on, the movie evolves into small chapters exploring Hemel's sexual life and her close relationship with her father - she doesn't have a mother. We'll witness how Hemel deals with several lovers, always finding something wrong with them, including one Algerian man, whose tenderness bothers her. She tells him that she didn't "like afterplay, petting after an orgasm. It's more masculine to fall sleep after sex, like lions." She also talks harsh to and is sarcastic with her loved ones, including her father. However, it is her father that she trusts more and seems to want to imitate.

Director Sacha Polak says that "Hemel" is about a father and daughter who have a symbiotic relationship.
Read more ›
Comment 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Amazon Video
I rarely review a film based on technical issues, but what could have been a very good movie has been censored. The deliberate act of censoring is an abomination and a crime. No, not a crime on the holocaust-level by any means, but history shows that there were book-burnings during appalling periods in human history. There are other reasons to be dissatisfied. The sudden inflation of rental costs are so close to the purchase prices that users are enticed into spending much more for items or services that were once included. The cold rule of thumb in corporate economics begins with giving customers quality at reasonable prices and in ample quantities. Later, it evolves raising the prices, while lowering the selection, quantity and quality. The next step is to force additional and costly "premium" options, where the corporation can offer much less at a much higher profit margin. The censorship trend is insidious, because it benefits no one and is a means of control. It is an act of petty self-indulgence and self-righteous indignation against the customer. Censorship is in and of itself far more despicable than the censored material. These trends are contributing to a frightening new axis of supreme corporate power, which will culminate in the destruction of the individual and the deification of corporate will. Apparently, the DVD is in its original form, but for that, you gotta' pay. Anyway ... a solid 4 stars for the original work.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There would be much to say about this provocative movie...if I knew its ultimate theme.
And provocative it is!
In the first scene, Hemel (startlingly beautiful, though extremely skinny!), played by Hannah Hoekstra, speaks of "c--ts" and the feminist take on shaving pubic hair.
After a couple of more guys pass through her world in the night, the one man who means the most to her, her father Gijs (Hans Dagelet). enters the picture.
He is always with a woman, and they're all young and beautiful.
(In one scene, a restaurant waiter mistakes Hemel for Gijs's wife!!)
The music, and the general tone of the movie, is somber, sad.
Hemel tells her father she saw a man commit suicide by jumping off a roof.
She wonders if she should have helped....by jumping down after him!
As I said earlier, Hemel (Hoekstra!) is almost anorexically thin!!
(I personally prefer a fleshier woman!)
She is seen peeing three times during the movie.
I mention this because, in one scene, she stands up while peeing....like a man.
In another scene, her father carries her, like a child, to the toilet, telling the just-woken Hemel "You have to pee!".
Is she incontinent?
Does she have a bladder problem?
Then, at the end, in a highly emotional scene, her nose begins bleeding.
Why?
Stress?
Some physical problem?
Hemel is a wonderful movie, but I give it "just" 4 stars for what it does NOT tell us about....Heaven!

By the way, my DVD did not play the special features section!
It's not my computer, as on all my other DVD's, I can play the special features.
But when I clicked on that section, nothing happened!!
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