Hemel is a young 20-something female who spends most of her nights frequenting local bars and clubs for some form of connection. Hemel has no comprehension of the difference between sex and love, as she goes from relationship to relationship. The only man who Hemel respects is her father, Gijs, a man who bounces from relationship to relationship in a similar fashion. Everything Hemel knows changes when her father falls in love with Sophie, a young auctioneer who works for Gijs. Sacha Polak's Hemel is an intimate portrait of a young woman whose intimacy issues stem from her father. Hemel is a character who gives little back in her relationships, treating these various men more as simply a way to pass time then any type of connection. With no real comprehension of love, Hemel's escapades are almost always simply a sexual conquest, yet the film hints at her desire for companionship. One of her relationships with a married man hints at her desire for real compassion and love, but with her father as her role model, she views this as a form of weakness. Essentially this is a well made film about a woman with daddy issues, as Gijs has spent his life with many different woman, bouncing from girl to girl with no real interest outside of satisfying himself sexually. The film doesn't demonize Gijs, as its clear he cares for his daughter, but his lifestyle gives his daughter the wrong ideas about what love and relationships are all about. In a way Hemel deconstructs the male and female psyche when it comes to relationships. Hemel never having a mother, has no real comprehension of the love and nurturing qualities which are typical of females, leaving her with this disconnected existence. The aesthetic of the film is two fold, the night scenes being very colorful and hazy, while the mornings are vivid and bright, lightened up by the sun. These are two different worlds, mirroring Hemel's existence. Hemel is an incredibly tragic character who feels betrayed by her father when he finds someone he really cares about. Her father's relationship exposes the longing which Hemel feels for a real relationship, leading her to ultimately fear she is destined to simply be a play-thing for men, nothing more.
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