3 stronger characters and some accompanying. Not unusual. And three characters with the same in common: the desire to gamble; driven by an addiction that has heavily influenced their lives. One is no longer alive, the father of the filmmaker, the two others still practise in different ways, on different levels and in different areas of operation. One is in prison and talks with a low voice about what he has been doing, waiting to get out very soon. This does not happen, he has his imprisonment prolonged because he can not refrain from gambling (= swindling) from his cell via his mobile (cell!) phone. The other is a festive man full of stories and fun and lust for life. A showman, who offers the viewers a guided photo tour picturing the women with whom he has enjoyed life – for a certain period, as long as they could compete with the real love and passion of his life: Gambling. We see him as the charming bookmaker, he is, and we sense the back side of the coin, the loneliness, as he speaks.
The main character, however, is the father of the John Appel, as he is seen and described by the son. Appel approaches the character of his father in a very fine and balanced manner, where he leaves a lot of reflection to the viewer. He intertwines the story of his father with the two other addicts and maybe he was a mix of the two – the low voice prisoner and the outspoken party seeker and show man. That Appel is an experienced filmmaker and knows the rules of storytelling is evident, and again it is a pleasure to hear a well written and spoken personal commentary. Towards the end of the film, Appel tells us that he after the death of the father often drove with his mother to the place of the horse races. This is where the father had his seat every sunday. They sit there in the big car, all is silence – one of many beautifully composed images full of the melancholy that suits this film so well.
Holland, 80 mins., 2009