Fusun Akman, Coastal Carolina University|
About three or more generations of
strong and self-sufficient women who live on a farm and the people
around them. Antonia's granddaughter is a genius, namely a
mathematician and a musician. But she must be a lousy teacher because
she proves a theorem in homology theory on blackboard before you can
say `Hom`. She is very self-centered and hardly looks up when her
daughter injures herself in play."
This Dutch film follows the story of Antonia who returns to her small hometown just after the end of World War II. We meet all of the crazy people in the town (believe me, there are a lot of them) and Antonia's own descendents.
Of special interest is Therese, Antonia's granddaughter, who shows mathematical genius as a child, and grows up to be both a composer and a math professor. We see her teaching a class in which she proves a theorem using category theory.
I am pleased to report that despite the stereotype, Therese is one of the least crazy characters in the film. On the other hand, as Fusun reports above, she is supposed to be a bit cold. Actually, I was a little bothered by the fact that even her interest in mathematics seems to be cold and completely sterile. In fact, mathematicians tend to be passionate about mathematics, to feel that it is beautiful. From the dull way she lectures about mathematics, and the way her interest in music is presented as her only aesthetic aspect, I think the film clearly implies that mathematics is "soulless".
Still, I really enjoyed this movie! It was a refreshing, thought provoking and charming change from the typical Hollywood garbage.