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Brownian Movement

Brownian Movement

Nanouk Leopold

  • Country: The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: English, French
  • Producer: Stienette Bosklopper
  • Screenplay: Nanouk Leopold
  • Runtime: 102
  • Programmes:

Acclaimed Dutch filmmaker Nanouk Leopold explores a young mother's desires and needs in the langorous and atmospheric The Brownian Movement.

screening times

    • Friday September 10
    • 6:15:00 PM
    • VARSITY 7
    • Sunday September 12
    • 5:45:00 PM
    • VARSITY 7
    • Sunday September 19
    • 10:00:00 AM

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

In the oblique and daring opening to Nanouk Leopold’s atmospheric The Brownian Movement, Charlotte, a young mother who seems happily married, secretly rents a sparsely furnished apartment. Sensing what might be happening, the agent winks at her and tells her the bed is new. Soon enough, Charlotte returns with a string of men, each of them overtly flawed in some way. As she begins to invite more men to her room, she runs a greater risk of being exposed.

A portrait of desire, The Brownian Movement explores the extent to which our own needs remain a mystery to us. (The title is another term for the theories around the random movement of particles in air or fluids.) Asked by a court-appointed psychiatrist to explain her behaviour, Charlotte can only stumble through a vaguely worded, elliptical description of her relationship with Max, her successful architect husband. Once he finds out about her activities, Max begins to wrestle with his doubts about her fidelity and we begin asking questions about control and tradition. Max’s suspicions are elevated by her leaving the house – even when she’s merely going for a walk.

Leopold’s approach to her characters and events in her story skillfully balances two seemingly incompatible elements. Visually, The Brownian Movement is often told with the rigour of a Chantal Akerman film – the camera usually remains static, forcing us to probe each image for meaning and significance. Conversely, the film boasts the sensitivity of a young Agnés Varda, relying on a languorous, sensual rhythm. In a very real sense, Charlotte’s behaviour combines both random events and distinctive, traceable patterns, much like the theory the film alludes to in its title. Yet, beside the cerebral elements, the film is emotionally affecting and troubling, in no small part because of the transfixing and courageous performance by Sandra Huller as Charlotte.

Steve Gravestock

director bio

Nanouk Leopold was born in Rotterdam and studied at the Visual ArtsAcademy of Rotterdam and at the Film and Television Academy of Amsterdam. Shebegan directing projects for Dutch television before making her feature directingdebut with Floating Islands (01). Herother films include Guernsey (05), Wolfsbergen (07) which screened at theFestival, and The Brownian Movement(10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Sandra Hüller Dragan Bakema
Stienette Bosklopper
Frank van den Eeden
Katharina Wartena
Andreas Hildebrandt
Harry de Wit
Production Designer:
Elsje de Bruijn
International Sales Agent:
 Films Distribution
Production Company:
Circe Films
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