This is a story of death and suicide, but told in less brutal and consequential ways. Less consequential because Sam is well fed, sheltered, schooled and merely inherits the chore of caring for her two little brothers and aging father after the death of her mum–who climbed a ladder wearing high heels to take down the Christmas lights, clearly suicide.

The film is less brutal than those stories written solely for adult audiences. Many years after her mother’s death, Sam is run over by a truck. The gentle demeanor of the angel who greets her in “purgatory” and guides her through the process of choosing whether to be reincarnated or pass on to the afterlife reminded me of The Good Humor man from my childhood. Not really, I never had a childhood. Maybe he seemed more like the milkman? or Maytag Repair man.

And then there’s the number 400. Sam survives for 400 days after her mother dies before she’s run over. 400 seems to be a recurrent number in film, or is it just a coincidence. ‘The 400 Blows’ by Fran├žois Truffaut, the ‘4o0 Days of Summer’ starring Zooey Deschanel as Summer Finn. 400 Days which is currently hovering at 4.4 on IMDB.

This film introduces a new number, 836. That was my takeaway number as the count of lifetimes before you need an afterlife.

Venue: Seattle International Film Festival, 2019
Country: Netherlands
Language: Dutch
Genres: Drama, Comedy