Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Those whose impressions of the Netherlands are dominated by the very hip modern city of Amsterdam may be unaware that for centuries the country was noted for a pervasive bourgeois stodginess that exceeded anything that Henrik Ibsen ever said about the Norwegian middle class of his time. In 1889, Dutch society was set on its ears by the quite long poem Eline Vere by Louis Couperus, published in installments in the newspapers, which minutely described the mores, manners and hypocrisies of the time. To this day, Dutch schoolchildren learn about their past by studying that poem, which boasts a Dickensian richness of description and vivid characterizations. This melodramatic film follows Eline Vere (Marianne Basler), the heroine of the poem, as she attempts to break free from the confines of her narrow existence in Den Haag (the Hague) through three tumultuous and ultimately disastrous courtships.
courtship, Dutch [nationality], mores, nonconformity, society, bourgeois